x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Quins show mettle in Hurricanes win

Abu Dhabi Harlequins celebrated a golden weekend by toppling the Gulf League champions Dubai Hurricanes in the inaugural round of Arabian Gulf Super Five matches.

Abu Dhabi Harlequins celebrated a golden weekend by toppling the Gulf League champions Dubai Hurricanes in the inaugural round of Arabian Gulf Super Five matches. At the same time their women's side were clinching the Doha Oryx Ladies tournament, following a 45-5 win over Dubai Exiles in the final in Qatar. Much has been made of the capital club's resurgence in domestic rugby, following a high-profile link-up with the English Premiership side Harlequins which was penned during the summer.

However, the Hurricanes have been the league champions for the past two seasons and remain the team to beat on the field. Abu Dhabi signalled they were getting closer to the Dubai trailblazers after capturing the Gulf Cup from them in last season's final. They reinforced their status at the weekend with a comfortable 34-16 win at The Sevens in Dubai, in a new tournament for the region's top five clubs.

Quins crossed the whitewash four times and Matt Holzl kicked 14 points to seal victory. The Quins chairman Richard Harris said: "One of the things we have said as a club is that we need to regularly beat the Dubai teams to prove we are a serious force in rugby in the region. "We want to show that last year's cup win was not just a flash in the pan." The success of the Quins' women in Doha was arguably an even greater triumph for the club.

Harris added: "The ladies section ended last season with just five players. "They flew to Doha with 12 players and a coach - and there were three other players who didn't travel. "From saying to people 'We have seen you at the rugby club, please can you play for us,' to get to a position where players are actually fighting for places is fantastic." pradley@thenational.ae