x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Quins tuned in for battle in Bahrain

With the end-of-season grudge match being shown live on television for the first time, several players are keen to record their moment in the celluloid spotlight.

ABU DHABI // Many teams, on the eve of a season-defining cup final, opt for a relaxing evening in front of the television. Murray Strang, the Abu Dhabi Harlequins fly-half, however, revealed last night that while several of his side were in front of their sets, they were far from relaxed. In fact, they were frantic. Strang's side fly to Manama today ahead of this afternoon's Danway Gulf Cup final against league champions Bahrain. And with the end-of-season grudge match being shown live on Bahrain Sports - the first time an inter-gulf rugby match has been shown live on television - several Quins players are keen to record their moment in the celluloid spotlight.

"A lot of the boys have been scrambling around trying to set up their Showtime boxes so they can record the game," said Strang. "There is a group of the boys who have never played on TV before, so it adds a bit of a buzz to it all, to be honest." Quins travel to Manama high on confidence and intent on ruining Bahrain's big day - again. Despite having lost their league crown to their Gulf rivals, Abu Dhabi managed to prevent Bob Phillips's team from going an entire term unbeaten when they won 29-7 at Al Ghazal two weeks ago. Now they want to emulate that success on foreign soil and prevent a Bahraini league and cup double.

The final is played in Bahrain after they won a coin-toss to decide and opted to play at home. "Bahrain have earned the right to be called favourites; with their home record and being league champions, we will definitely go into the game as the underdogs," said Strang. "But we are desperate to end the season with some silverware and to achieve that with double defeats of Bahrain would be great, so we are using that as our inspiration." @Email:gmeenaghan@thenational.ae