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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 November 2018

Dubai Hurricanes cement status as title contenders with win over Dubai Exiles

Also in West Asia Premiership action on Friday, Abu Dhabi Harlequins defeated Jebel Ali Dragons, and Bahrain thrashed Dubai Sports City Eagles

Dubai Exiles and Dubai Hurricanes in action during the West Asia Premiership match at The Sevens stadium in Dubai. Satish Kumar for The National
Dubai Exiles and Dubai Hurricanes in action during the West Asia Premiership match at The Sevens stadium in Dubai. Satish Kumar for The National

Dubai Hurricanes reinforced their credentials as potential title-challengers after comfortably dispatching neighbours Dubai Exiles 36-23 in the West Asia Premiership on Friday night.

The victors were good value for the result, having initially scored five unanswered tries before the Exiles crossed themselves.

They were the dominant force after Ian Larkin had opened the scoring, and they had six separate try-scorers in all, with captain Andy Powell also slotting three conversions.

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Read more:

Bahrain cruise to dominant West Asia Premiership victory over Dubai Sports City Eagles

Squad depth a concern as Dubai Exiles prepare to defend Dubai Rugby Sevens title

Bahrain deliver on 'potential' as Harlequins win puts them top of West Asian Premiership

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The six tries to three win marked quite a departure from the recent history between the two clubs, who share neighbouring fields at The Sevens.

Hurricanes were the dominant side in the region at the turn of the decade, but have struggled to compete for silverware in recent times.

Exiles, by contrast, have regularly tasted success in recent seasons, and are the defending UAE Premiership and Dubai Rugby Sevens champions.

Because of the way the fixtures were staggered on Friday, the result briefly meant Hurricanes held second place in the West Asia Premiership.

Abu Dhabi Harlequins eventually won the late kick off against Jebel Ali Dragons later on in the capital, 38-20, to restore their place in second.

All the sides are chasing Bahrain, who were formidable in beating Dubai Sports City Eagles 88-7 in the 4pm kick off.

While Hurricanes are looking upwards, after adding a scalp of the UAE Premiership champions to the one they picked up of Dragons, the West Asia Premiership holders, Exiles are trying to limit the damage brought about in part by an injury crisis.

It should have been a celebratory occasion for the Exiles. The UAE’s oldest side opened their new club house, on the top floor of the Player’s Pavilion at The Sevens, before kick-off.

However, their effort on the field was undermined by the absence of almost all of the stars of their forward pack from their recent glories, with the likes of Kristian Stinson, Gio Fourie, Jaen Botes, Tomas Sackmann and Matt Mills all missing.