Abu Dhabi Harlequins maintained their electric run this season as they put Dubai Exiles to the sword with a commanding performance.
These two fought tooth and nail for honours last season but Exiles’ fall from grace continued as Quins ran in a half century of points on the home side, with Brian Geraghty, Barry Dwyer and Willie Umu all running in two tries each as Mike McFarlane’s men crossed eight times in all in a 53-17 romp.
It’s now seven wins and one draw from their eight games this season, and although they have been pushed close by Dubai Hurricanes and Bahrain in their last two games, this was supremely straightforward.
They even added two scores after Emosi Ratuvecanaua was red-carded for a crude tip-tackle on Exiles scrum-half Ed Armitage who grabbed both of his side’s tries.
After a couple of close calls in recent games, Geraghty was glad he and his fellow backs could display the full extent of their talents.
“We’re very happy with that performance,” said the Irishman.
“We’ve been grinding out results the last few weeks, I don’t think we got into third or fourth gear. We knew it was going to be a good test today but the forwards gave us a good platform and we showed how fluid we can be.”
Exiles, who have been a completely different team to the one that swept to the West Asia Premiership and UAE Premiership double 12 months ago, have been crippled by injuries this campaign.
Durandt Gerber played his seond game since dislocating a shoulder in the season opener, while Lukas Waddington and Michael Sole were both ruled out for the season on the ever of the match.
Coach Jacques Benade though wasn’t making any excuses.
“They’re a good side, you have to give them credit,” he said in defeat.
“They played excellent rugby and they’re magic with turnover ball. We played well for 30 minutes but we can’t keep the ball. We build pressure and give them a turnover. They build pressure and they score.
“I don’t think it’s a lack of effort, I just think Quins were just better than us, no doubt about it.”
Quins had a bonus point in the bag by the interval as they led 29-10.
Luke Stevenson strolled over early on and although Armitage scored the try of the game soon after when he latched onto Michael Stubbs’ chip over the defence, Umu sauntered over untouched to put the game beyond Benade’s boys.
Former Al Ain man Ratuvecanaua then got his marching orders but that didn’t slow Quins down one bit.
A handling error, an all too familiar sight in games this season, gifted Quins possession in Exiles territory and Dwyer completed his brace in the corner.
Exiles skipper Glenn Moore’s yellow card for a high tackle compounded their misery which was prolonged further when replacement George Phelan touched down out wide to take Quins over 50.
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