x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Rugby League Cup: Harlequins aim for final retribution

Abu Dhabi Harlequins bid to break the cup final hoodoo against Mana Dubai in the Rugby League Cup final at Al Ain Amblers Rugby Club.

Mana Dubai, in white, will meet the Abu Dhabi Harlequins, in red and green, at the Al Ain Amblers Rugby Club in the final of the Rugby League Cup.
Mana Dubai, in white, will meet the Abu Dhabi Harlequins, in red and green, at the Al Ain Amblers Rugby Club in the final of the Rugby League Cup.

Abu Dhabi Harlequins will get one last chance to exorcise their cup-final demons when they meet Mana Dubai in the showpiece of the first Rugby League Cup in Al Ain this afternoon.

Despite otherwise dominating the XVs code, the capital club lost three major finals in the recently concluded rugby union season. They have two major factors in their favour in their bid to offset that unhappy record today, though.

Firstly, Jebel Ali Dragons, their conquerors on each of those occasions in union, are already off on their summer holidays.

Secondly, the Quins have been comfortably the pick of the four teams in the inaugural 13-man club competition, and they beat today's opposition 40-6 on the opening day of the campaign.

With two former professionals to call upon, as well as a raft of young players who have shown great aptitude on their first attempts at league, Tony Scott, the Quins coach, is optimistic.

"We are fairly confident, but it is a game of rugby league, so anything can happen," said the Australian. "We have been able to name a strong team. I ended up with 27 players to choose from, so I was very fortunate in that regard. We have a good mix of young and old. If to stick to our structure, we should be OK."

Mana rebounded well from their opening-day defeat to Quins by beating Dubai Wasps to secure their place in this final.

"Abu Dhabi are a strong side and it will be a tough test," said Steve Emm, the Mana coach.

 

pradley@thenatinal.ae

 

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