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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Dubai Hurricanes secure West Asia Premiership win over Eagles in UAE's newest rugby rivalry

Tries from Knight, Lewis, Finck, Powell, and Perry help Hurricanes to a bonus point victory.

Dubai Hurricanes, in black and yellow, defeated Dubai Sports City Eagles in the West Asia Premiership. Pawan Singh / The National
Dubai Hurricanes, in black and yellow, defeated Dubai Sports City Eagles in the West Asia Premiership. Pawan Singh / The National

Dubai Hurricanes secured bragging rights over Dubai Sports City Eagles as they claimed a bonus-point win in the West Asia Premiership.

Even though Eagles have only been in existence for just over half a season, these two teams have already generated a strong rivalry, given that a number of the new team’s players arrived from Hurricanes last summer.

The away side proved they still have plenty of quality left over, with four of their six tries being scored by UAE internationals.

Dave Knight, the UAE flanker, led the way with two, while Andy Powell, Daniel Perry, Boris Finck and Tom Lewis also scored.

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Knight was happy to get the win with a bonus point, but said the result should have been more convincing, after the visitors had held a 17-0 lead within 15 minutes of kick off.

“We lost the most players out of any Premiership team to the Eagles, we have close friends there, and Josh [Ives, the Eagles scrum-half] is a really good mate of mine,” Knight said.

“Obviously there is more fire, and there are bragging rights on offer, so we knew we had to perform.

“We knew they were a better side than what their results have shown. We had a tough game against them when we played them last time, so we didn’t want to take it lightly.

“Unfortunately I feel we probably could have had a much better performance if we had carried on how we were playing at the beginning.

“I think people got a bit greedy, maybe they felt it was going to be a comfortable win and decided to start doing things themselves rather than as a team.”

Even though Hurricanes scored three tries early in the piece, Eagles trailed by just a point at the break, thanks to a try from Tom Bright and the excellence off the kicking tee of Sean Carey.

Hurricanes forged ahead after the interval, but Eagles did get a last-play consolation score through Niall O’Driscoll.

“There is a big rivalry between us already, even though we are just a brand new club,” Conor Coakley, the Eagles captain, said.

“Quite a few of us have played for Hurricanes, and we are still in touch with a lot of those boys, so this was a really, really big one.

“I thought we didn’t do ourselves any favours in the opening 20 minutes, and gave away quite a head start, but I was happy with the way we responded to that.

“We kept our cool, we took the points, Sean was kicking really well, and our defence had improved a lot from the past couple of weeks.

“I’m happy with that side of things, but still disappointed. The way we are playing now, we should be able to take those wins.”