It's sevens heaven for schools at BSAK 7s

Denzil Pinto 17:01 13/11/2017
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There was no shortage of numbers at the annual BSAK 7s as more than 800 aspiring rugby players took to the field in Abu Dhabi at the weekend.

Teams from Bahrain, Lebanon and Egypt, as well as the UAE, made their way to the capital for the two-day event, which began at the British School of Al Khubairat on Thursday before ending at Zayed Sports City a day later.

The boys’ competition saw trophies up for grabs in the Under-11, U12, U13, U14, U16 and U19 categories while girls’ competition included U14 and U19 touch events.

Just like in the previous editions, the event showcased the best rugby talent not just in the country but from across the region with some thrilling matches across both days.

In Dubai College’s case, they saw their U12s clinch the victors’ trophy before their U19 sides in both the boys’ and girls’ events reigned supreme.

Their U19 boys’ side had to overcome a stern test against hosts BSAK but Dubai College captain Oliver Tait says the triumph will give them a lot of confidence going into next month’s Dubai Sevens.

“We prepared long and hard for this and we had gone on tour to Sri Lanka to get ready for a busy season,” said the 18-year-old prop. “We were pushed all the way and hopefully we can bring the Dubai Sevens title back to Dubai College – where it belongs.”

Their neighbours Dubai English Speaking College (DESC) made the trip back to the emirate with two titles in the boys categories. Their A side came out on top in the U16 competition with the same result achieved in the U14s.

DESC U16 skipper Alistair Hess is now hoping to force his way into the team’s Dubai Sevens squad and admitted there were no easy games in the capital.

“It’s an amazing tournament. All the teams were tough,” said the fly-half. “Even in the group stage it was hard and we’re really proud to get this win for the school.”

Matt Thomas, head of rugby at BSAK, was thoroughly impressed with the talent he saw in all of the categories.

“The standard of rugby over the two days has been absolutely second to none,” he said.

“It’s been a real showcase of the playing abilities in the Middle East and UAE and superb rugby all round.

“This is the stepping stone for schools to sharpen their tools for the Dubai Sevens.

“Each team will be building towards that over the next couple of weeks. And the BSAK 7s is a great place to start and get better and ready for that tournament.”

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