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Dubai Rugby Tour 2012
9 March 2012
Dubai International Ten-a-side Tournament
A 1st and 2nd X were entered into this competition that involved international school from all over the Middle East including Wellington International College, English College Dubai, Dubai College and a host of other prestigious schools from the region. Both teams performed extremely well on little training and jet lag, combined with a blissful temperature of around 27centigrade. Both teams progressed through the group stages building the intensity as they went. The 2nd X started extremely well dispatching the their first opposition with ease but stumbled later in the group only managing to win through to the Plate competition but avoiding a quarter final match against the 1st X. Unfortunately a narrow loss to Wellington International College in the Quarter finals of the plate put the 2nd X out of the competition with no silverware. The 1st X started tentatively and soon discovered that they were in the much harder side of the draw playing some very tough opposition. The team picked up momentum and started to click with some stern defence from Captain Skipwith and intelligent play from fly half Doe unleashing some good attacking play from both backs and forwards. In the end progress to the Final was made easy with a comprehensive win over our final opponents, BSAK. This set us up nicely for a final against tournament hosts, Dubai College. A close fought encounter saw us lose out narrowly by inches when a conversion was narrowly missed from wide out. The team could not break down the Dubai College defence to score the final points despite some ferocious attack in the dying minutes of the game. The final score was 12-10.
Match vs Dubai College-Final Score 5-13 to Dubai College
In the Fifteen a side match we fielded as strong a side as was possible taking into account the injuries to the squad and with the need to play all tourists it was difficult to get continuity especially with some front line injuries to crucial players. The Dubai College attack was sizzling and they had pace to burn and losing Josh Williams early on did not help our cause in attack especially when followed swiftly by the exit of Freddie Woodward. However, those on the field kept battering away and Ed Lord coming on as replacement nearly scored down the left flank but was just kept out on the line. Seb Hayes also had an opportunity to bring the scores to parity but he could not convert and so after a nail biter of a finish Dubai College came out as winners, scoring their try as a result of a defence lapse in concentration. This did not take anything away from a match that was a thrilling encounter although the team were left with the bitter taste of defeat in their mouths knowing that this was a match that they could and should have won. James Doe was superlative in his performance at Fly Half and as Captain and was awarded the Man of the Match award.
(photos in the Gallery)