In what has been a very unusual season it makes absolute sense that Mini & Youth rugby for 2020-21 should finish on an even stranger note with Dubai Exiles RFC and Dubai Hurricanes RFC training together on the Exiles’ home pitch at The Sevens.
The session had been broken up into 4 quarters of 15 minutes with both rugby clubs taking the opportunity to apply what the under 19 squads have been practicing all season.
A quick pep talk before we start
Eugene Deegan discusses Irish rugby with Karen Pereira
Hannes Kruger opens the Exiles’ scoring
Session 1. Dubai Exiles Black v Dubai Hurricanes A.
The Exiles Under 19s’ contribution was immediate. A loose kick off sent the ball sailing over the touchline and the Dubai Hurricanes were immediately given an opportunity to attack from the centre spot. The Hurricanes nudged themselves into the Exiles’ 22 but completely overthrew the ensuing lineout. Will Bacon collected the ball at the tail, but under 10-a-side rugby rules say that you have to immediately play the ball to the scrum half. When Will took off on a charge, the referee blew his whistle and awarded a penalty to the team in canary yellow.
The ‘Canes’ plan was evident from their first possession, a physically big side, they were repeatedly looking to truck the ball down the centre of the park, after a few applications of the theory some space opened up on the right side of the pitch and the Hurricanes were across the line for the first score of the session. 0 – 5.
The Exiles’ reply came from Hannes Kruger half-way through the session. Marcus Kruger had nailed a penalty kick into the corner, the Exiles’ lineout had gathered the ball and some crisp passing to the centre of the field, a missed tackle, and Hannes was in for the Exiles’ first score. Converted by Marcus Kruger. 7 – 5.
It wasn’t long before the Exiles were over the try line again. Zander Visser had earned the teenagers in black a penalty form which the Exiles swept down the left-hand side of the field only an unfortunate knock-on brought a good-looking attack to a halt. The Hurricanes were awarded the free kick but good ruck work form the Exiles won back possession and after a few cracks at the line, Jan Jirasek forced his way over for the Exiles’ second try. Converted, 14 – 5.
As the 15 minutes of the first session drew to a close, the Exiles further stretched their advantage with another two quickfire tries from Ben Davies, taking the score line out to 24 – 5 in favour of the Dubai Exiles Under 19s.
Ben Davies and Arran Shah on the hunt
Jan Jirasek crosses the try line
Session 2. Dubai Exiles Red v Dubai Hurricanes B.
The Exiles Under 19 Red team inherited a decent 24 – 5 lead when they restarted what would prove to be a far more tense 15 minutes for both sides. In the opening exchanges both teams were engaged in a grinding and attritional stalemate.
The Hurricanes were showing signs if leveraging an advantage but enthusiastic defence and some great tackles, in particular from Kahurangi Emberson kept the Hurricanes at bay, well, at bay until the 8th minute of the session. 24 – 10.
The highlight of the second period was deservedly delivered by Kahurangi Emberson. The young winger took delight in showing off his fancy footwork to everyone as he turned the Hurricanes defense inside out on his way across the line. 29 – 10.
Kahurangi Emberson has some serious speed
Ashley Wilson take a pop at goal
Route 66 was a bit more direct than coast to coast
Session 3. Dubai Exiles Black v Dubai Hurricanes A.
The third session was effectively the second half of the first session. The free-running Exiles’ of the first period seemed, for the moment, long gone. Whether the players thought that the game was well won or they didn’t need their shape any more, or thought they could score easily as individuals, nobody was sure. What was sure was that the third session was a pretty turgid affair only highlighted by a moment of magic from Robbie Sproul. 34 – 10 Exiles. Exiles Black beating Hurricanes A by 29 points to 5.
Robbie Sproul goes all Superman!
Session 4. Dubai Exiles Red v Dubai Hurricanes B.
The Exiles Red and Hurricanes B sides were locked in a 5 points all arm wrestle at the end of their first session and both sides would be looking to give themselves bragging rights at the end of the evening’s training session.
The Hurricanes Under 19s got off to the much better start. Exiles knocked the ball on from the kick off and gave the Hurricanes great field position for their wing to spin out of a tackle and cross the line to score. Converted. 34 – 17.
As has been traditional for most Exiles teams that have been able to play any rugby this season, it takes a try being scored against them to wake them from their slumber. The Hurricanes had drifted into ‘kick everything’ mode and handing possession to the Exiles who were more than happy to run it back, and with some considerable success. After a loose kick with 4 minutes on the clock the Exiles swept the return down the left-hand side of the pitch and across the try line for their repost. 39 – 17.
The next Exiles score was a great finish. Hurricanes had again unnecessarily given away possession. Exiles Red poured their way down the field moving the ball from left to right until the wing was left with a one on one with the final Hurricanes’ defender. Some wonderful footwork stood the defender up and he was duly skipped around for the score. 44 – 17. Exiles Red were clearly delighted.
When Gabriel Casas crossed the Hurricanes try line, a minute later, with his arm held aloft the session was effectively over. Gabriel had outstripped the Hurricanes defense with pure pace and carried the ball under the posts to score. 51 – 17.
Gabriel Casas guarantees the result
The Hurricanes did pull a score back in the final passage of play. As the conversion was kicked, referee Eugene Deegan brought an end to proceedings. 51 – 24 to Exiles.
Exiles Black defeating Hurricanes A by 29 points to 5 and Exiles Red defeating Hurricanes B in a much closer game by 22 points to 19.
A very happy Don Muir
A very happy Jamie Annand too!
Dubai Exiles U19 v Dubai Hurricanes U19 Training Session
The Sevens (5th May 2021)