By Sports Reporter/Doha
Camels 1 advanced to the first ever Qatar Rugby Sevens cup finals courtesy of their unbeaten record. The Camels registered fourteen straight wins from as many matches to take the minor premiership title as well.
QRF president Yousef al-Kuwari and general secretary Ali al-Malki with man of the match Hurricanes’ captain Issac Banks.
They stand first on 56 competition points and comfortably await the outcome of the preliminary finals to know who will challenge them for the cup.
The likely challenger to the Camels is the Hurricanes who although not at their best managed to win two from two to claim out right second place. They easily beat the Lions 29-nil and accounted for Al Khor 29–12.
The Hurricanes were best represented by Samuel Higgs, Thomas Ayling and captain Issac Banks who won the Copthorne Hotel match award.
“After the match Banks said, “We had two very tough games tonight. Lions and Al Khor have lifted their game and skills. Very physical, we have some very sore bodies. Not quite happy with our performance, we have a lot of work on for next weekend but it feels great to have secured second spot at the end of the regular season”.
“We are excited at another rematch with Camels 2 it should be quite a spectacle. I would like to reiterate our thanks to the Qatar Rugby Federation for show casing the first Rugby Sevens league in Doha it’s been a great success. I would like to also thank the Doha Club for their support of the Hurricanes”.
In their only match of the evening Camels 2 managed to block out Al Khor 22- nil. The win for Camels 2 means they easily retain third place (42) fourteen points ahead of Al Khor (28) and the Lions (28). Best players for Camels 2, Rakan Mutawaa, Mubarak al-Malik, Omer Bahamed and Maciej Lenartowicz who also won the Copthorne Hotel’s man of the match.
Camels 2 captain Talal Mujalli later said, “We are disappointed we did not get outright second. We lost to the Hurricanes a few weeks back and since then we haven’t been playing too well. Hopefully that will change next week as we will be at full strength. Despite injuries to key players we are supported strongly by Mutawaa and Mubarak. Our bench has also been a strong lending hand”.
Al Khor had a mixed night of emotions, however, captain Allen O’Halloran remained upbeat and played tribute to his team for their performances. He said “Overall our team played tremendously well to hold the Hurricanes to 29 points and to outwit the Lions by 23 points. Full credit to the entire team in particular Cartwright who I think had a blinder”.
O’Halloran also admitted his team simply ran out players. “I don’t want to make excuses for our losses but we just ran out of reserves. We had no one on the bench to swap with for a breather. It was a lot of pressure on the young lads who were extremely tired”.
Al Khor’s outstanding players included Oskar O’Halloran, Matt Davis, Tom Cartwright and Copthorne Hotel’s man of the match, Thomas Obrien.
The Lions riding high from last week won two and lost two. After leading early on in the opening match against Al Khor, the Lions collapsed with too many dropped balls and forced errors. The boys from the bay capitalised on the Lions mistakes converting them into points. The final score 33-10.
The Lions, however, bounced back from their losses to overcome a very determined and spirited CNAQ 25 – 7 and received a 35 point walk over from Al Khor. The two victories promoted the Lions to fourth position on the competition standings (28) equal with Al Khor however, the Lions better averages relegates Al Khor to fifth placing.
Lions president Nimo Amit later confessed his team will have to improve immeasurably if they hope to meet the Camels 1 in the Cup finals next week. He said “I don’t think we can play the way we played tonight if we want to beat the Hurricanes and Camels 1. The Hurricanes are a strong physical side and the Camels are fast and experienced with exciting Fijian backs”.
Lions were best served by Copthorne Hotel’s s man of the match Eranda Werakkodi, Mushin Faleel, Wade Momberg, Andrew Jansen and captain Moses Dorairajah.
In the other match played CNAQ beat the Blue Falcons 15-7. Both teams will play in the Bowls finals when they meet next Saturday night at Aspire.
The Qatar Rugby Sevens finals will be played on April 9 at the Aspire warm up and purpose built rugby track.
The quarter-finals will start 6.00pm, followed by the semi-finals and final. The event is free and open to the general public
WEEK EIGHT RESULTS
Al Khor 33 Lions 10
CNAQ 15 Blue Falcons 7
Hurricanes 29 Lions 0
Camel (2) 22 Al Khor 0
Lions 25 CNAQ 7
Hurricanes 29 Al Khor 12
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