Exiles’ Willem Jansen battled all game
It was bye week for the Exiles‘ Premiership side that has already posted two wins out of two, the opening weekend thumping of Dubai Tigers RFC and a hard fought 17 – 26 win against Harlequins in Abu Dhabi. As the Exiles‘ enjoyed themselves relaxing on the beaches of Dubai. Neighbours and rivals, the Dubai Hurricanes took to Pitch 6 at The Sevens Stadium, for their opening match against the Abu Dhabi Harlequins. There’ll be questions about the home side’s decision to kick the match off at 11am in the Dubai sunshine, the Harlequins returned to Abu Dhabi with a 33 – 53 win, after both sides visibly melted in the heat.
As the Exiles‘ Premiership players enjoyed their well-earned break, the as yet, undefeated Exiles‘ Super Twos, took the drive down the E66 to Al Ain Amblers – who would provide their sternest test to date.
Emil Seyfferdt gets the warm up underway
Line-outs were hotly contested
Rugby, when played well, is a very simple and very beautiful game. The single most important thing in the game is the ball. Rule number one is, ‘hold on to the ball’. It’s very difficult for a team, any team, to win a rugby match if they don’t have the ball. From memory the last time a team with no ball managed to beat their opponents was Wales v England in the old Cardiff Arms Park in 1993, a 10 – 9 win for the hosts after being starved of possession all game, a hopeful kick from Emyr Lewis was grubbered ahead by British and Irish Lions wing, Ieuan Evans, who outpaced Rory Underwood for the match winning score.
There was no such escape for the Dubai Exiles Super Twos, they came off second best is almost all areas of the game to their hosts, Al Ain Amblers.
Despite the calamitous coughing up of the ball to the opposition in almost every contact situation, the Exiles‘ Division 1 side managed to turn around only down 17 – 10. They’d done well to hold the score to a seven point difference. A strong wind had favoured the Amblers for the first half, and Exiles, with the wind at their backs, just needed to play some simple territory rugby and slowly wrestle the game away from Al Ain.
As Al Ain Amblers kicked off the second half, the writing was on the wall almost instantly for the Exiles. A dropped catch from the high floating kick off, put Al Ain immediately on the attack, and by the time the Exiles had stopped looking at each other, the Amblers‘ number 10 had scored under the posts. Converted, 24 – 10 to Amblers.
The Amblers‘ score from the kick off looked like it knocked the stuffing out of the Exiles‘ side. They threatened the Exiles‘ try line on a couple of occasions, but again turned the ball over in contact at the critical moments allowing the Amblers‘ to clear their lines. It was a frustrating game from the Exiles‘. A score for the Exiles at 24 – 10 would have made from a grandstand finish, the much heavier Al Ain team were looking tired.
The score just wouldn’t come. When the final points were added to the board the Al Ain 10, who has a cannon of a boot, added 3 points from a soft penalty and also converted the Amblers’ final try of the match in the dying seconds. Al Ain Amblers 34 – Dubai Exiles 2 – 10
DUBAI EXILES RFC 2s V AL AIN AMBLERS
UAE Division 1 (15th October 2021)