Healey leads trio of rugby coaches at Dubai Academy

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Learn from the experts: Former British and Irish Lions and England star Austin Healey during a coaching session.

There are few opportuni­ties to spend a week honing your skills under the expert eye of three former rugby union internationals. But, one of those occasions begins on Monday when Superskills’ first-ever Dubai Rugby Academy opens up at The Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence.

Former British and Irish Lions and England rugby legend Austin Healey, dual-code international Apollo Perelini and ex-Scotland in­ternational Rory Lawson will all be at hand for daily two-hour sessions from Monday to Friday, October 31 at 09:30 for children aged five to 16. Places are still available for the activities, which are priced at Dh500 for the day or Dh2,000 for the week.

The training activities will help budding rugby stars improve their technique and learn fresh tips to develop their game.

The experience is heightened by the potential opportunity to gain one-on-one tutoring from the famous former players.

Superskills have successfully run similar holidays at a resort in Sar­dinia, and are now looking to bring their expertise to the UAE.

“This is an incredible chance for kids to be coached by absolute legends of the game,” Superskills travel and events executive Peter Crocombe said. “Each one of them has a vast knowledge of the sport that they can pass on.

“We have appriximately 20 children booked per day at the moment, with this number sure to rise in the coming days. Sport360 UAE Premiership mini and youth teams are also looking to join in. Jebel Ali Dragons will be taking part on Friday, which should be a really fun day seeing everyone combining together.”

Set at the Jebel Ali Resort in Dubai, families can enjoy play­ing on the pitch or relaxing by the pool as part of the many activities available.

There will be an action-packed programme of events throughout the week, including awards and the hugely popular ‘Parents and Legends’ touch rugby match.

Water will also be provided to make sure all the children involved will be in the best condition.

The Apollo Perelini Rugby Skills Academy has been running in Nad Al Sheba and the ex-St Helens and Sale Sharks warrior is looking forward to helping out at another exciting camp in the UAE.

He said: “This will be a great way for kids to continue their rugby education. I couldn’t wait to get involved when I was told about it, working alongside Austin and Rory will be great.” 

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Saracens deny Dragons spot in UAE final

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Rocking result: Abu Dhabi Saracens put Jebel Ali Dragons to the sword in the UAE Premiership.

Jebel Ali Dragons fell just short of a spot in the Sport360 UAE Premiership final after losing 22-6 to Abu Dhabi Saracens

Hurricanes set up Harlequins clash in UAE final

Sarries’ 22-6 win instead gifted a place in the final to capital city neighbours Quins, who will face Dubai Hurricanes.

Sarries head coach Ali Thompson was missing from the victory, but Rikkus Swart and Barny Goatley impressed as the capital club ran in three tries.

Backs coach Steve Hamilton said: “It was a brilliant result. It was a forward orientated game and our pack was dominant.”

The UAE capital will have been rock­ing last night after Abu Dhabi Harlequins‘ win secured them a final place after an eventually comfortable 54-19 vic­tory over a stubborn Xodus Wasps.

Wasps led 9-7 at half time and player/coach Jeremy Manning ad­mitted he had some harsh words for his team at the interval.

“We perhaps didn’t show Wasps the respect they deserve and when you don’t do that you can get pun­ished,” said Manning.

Quins turned it around in the second half and the New Zealander was the catalyst behind the resur­gence, scoring a superb individual try as Quins eventually sauntered to an eight-try romp.

McMillan Mescudi and Char­lie Farmer each touched down for a brace, while Sam Bolger, Adel Al Hendi and top try-scorer Matt Hawley also went over.

Manning added: “I’m really hap­py for the guys. We lost our first two games and everyone had written us off.

“I said I wanted us to win our next three games which we’ve now done tonight. And, to top it off, I’ve just found out that Dragons lost and we’re in the final.”

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Hurricanes set up Harlequins clash in UAE Premiership final

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Final calling: Hurricanes (c) put Exiles to the sword and, in winning the Dubai derby they also banished their city rivals from the Gulf Top Six competition

Dubai Hurricanes are into the Pre­miership final after beating Exiles 46-10 in the second city derby at 7he Sevens last night.

– Saracens deny Dragons a spot in final

Ross Mills’ men put Exiles to the sword and, in doing so, also ban­ished their fierce rivals from the post-Christmas elite Gulf Top Six competition.

And it will be Abu Dhabi Harle­quins who Canes will meet in the Sport360° UAE Premiership final.

The capital city kings owe their cross-city rivals Saracens a mas­sive favour after the Al Ghazal men stunned champions Jebel Ali Drag­ons 22-6.

That means Quins will face Canes in the Premiership finale despite losing their first two games of the season.

The home side twice scored first half tries from Exiles errors. The first was scored by Todd Freeman­tle, after Jan Venter Jr was sin-binned. Minutes later Andy Powell put Freemantle over.

Powell was the magician behind everything good the men in yel­low conjured. He pulled another rabbit out of the hat after another Exiles mistake.

The New Zealander made 50 me­tres after taking a quick tap, evad­ing several tackles before arching wide and drawing the last defender to send scrum-half Mike Rust away.

Dave Knight scored a third try before the interval but Canes were punished for overplaying before the whistle.

John Fawls cut a superb line and skipped under the posts to give the home side something to think about at the break.

Any thoughts of an Exiles come­back were premature though.

Daryl Johnson showed electric pace to go over for Canes’ fourth to seal a bonus point before the sec­ond half became the Andy Powell show. He set up Andy Longley and Freemantle for Canes’ fifth and sev­enth tries, scoring the sixth himself.

The magic man potted a personal tally of 16 points.

The win, coupled with the capit­ulation of Mills’ former side Drag­ons, mean Canes top the Premier­ship and will have home advantage in the final.

“It’s very sweet,” said Mills. “I was very impressed with Exiles, their running rugby kept us on guard all the time and I like it when a team tries to play the way that they played.

“We had two teams tonight who were trying to do exactly the same thing and fortunately for us we came out on top.”

He added: “We’re getting better every week, which is nice to see.”

Exiles coach Jan Venter couldn’t hide his disappointment.

“Our defence has been our strong point all season but tonight it fell apart. It’s the (Gulf ) Conference for us next year and we’ll try put a good side together and to do something at Dubai Sevens.”

The South African put a brave face on.

“I see this as confidence building for next season. Two seasons ago when I started this team, I had eight rugby players.”

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