x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

UAE prepare for a 'tough match' against Iran in Mumbai Sevens

After opening with 21-12 and 42-0 losses to Thailand and Hong Kong, the UAE get one in the win column with a 24-12 victory over India at the Mumbai Sevens. But up next is Iran.

After losses to Thailand and Hong Kong, the UAE national sevens team, in white, defeated hosts India 24-12 at theMumbai Sevens.
After losses to Thailand and Hong Kong, the UAE national sevens team, in white, defeated hosts India 24-12 at theMumbai Sevens.

Wayne Marsters, the UAE coach, will hope to use some of his inside knowledge on Sunday when his team face Iran in the Bowl quarter-finals at the Mumbai Sevens.

Marsters coached Iran between 2010 and 2011, and Duncan Hall, UAE rugby's performance manager, expects a hard encounter.

"Iran are a tough match," said Hall from Mumbai on Saturday.

"Wayne used to coach them, I've coached against them in the past. It's great to have them here.

"They are also coming to a tournament in Dubai against our Emirati side [UAE Shaheen] in November along with Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

"Its going to be very tough; they are hard guys, [and] we have to play fairly smarty, use the ball better."

The UAE failed to qualify for the Cup quarter-finals after finishing third in their group behind Hong Kong and Thailand.

Marsters' men lost 21-12 to the Thais and 42-0 to Hong Kong before beating the hosts, India, who were making their sevens debut.

It ended 24-12 to the UAE.

"We started pretty poorly against Thailand, unfortunately, gave away two early tries and never quite got into the game," said Hall.

"It was a better performance from our point of view against Hong Kong, even though they are historic foes and we've always been thirty points or so adrift of them. Everyone stepped up and did a lot better job.

"Then things came together. India are a minnow country in many ways but they played very well, got two late tries.

"Luckily we had points on the board beforehand.

"Its still a struggle in the sevens, we're trying to integrate our Emirati programme with our expatriates so we don't always have our No 1 best side out there, but it's the best thing for the country."

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