Exiles players upbeat ahead of Bahrain clash

Matt Jones - Editor 08:42 25/01/2017
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A humbling 53-17 defeat was suffered on their own field against fierce rivals Abu Dhabi Harlequins last week, but the players remain upbeat ahead of a daunting trip to Bahrain Friday.

Scrum-half Ed Armitage was a rare positive for Jacques Benade’s men last week, scoring their two tries and adding two conversions for a total haul of 14 points.

And the Englishman believes in order to keep their campaign alive, Exiles need to forget their fall from grace and concentrate on one game at a time.

“We’re feeling good going into the weekend, we’ve been training well for the past three weeks with a good buzz in the camp, we just can’t seem to convert it onto the pitch,” said an upbeat Armitage.

“Obviously it’s a big challenge playing Bahrain away, it’s a cauldron of a ground and last year we couldn’t hear ourselves due to the noise of the crowd. We need to forget the league and the trophies and concentrate on the performance.”

Fly-half Durandt Gerber echoed his half-back colleague, adding: “We know it won’t be an easy path going forward but we all want to end the season well and go as far as we can.”

One of Bahrain’s three defeats this season was against Exiles at The Sevens and coach Louie Tonkin feels the loss was the only one his side deserved.

“We’re looking forward to giving a better account of ourselves this weekend and we know they’re going to be hurting after that big loss last week and will come motivated,” said the Welshman, who will welcome back influential skipper Adam Wallace, returning after a ban picked up for a red card against Jebel Ali Dragons two weeks ago.

“Exiles are a really good side. Of the three games we’ve lost, we were close with Sarries and Quins, but Exiles were the only side that have beaten us well and they deserved to win.

“But we’ve got a job to do and we’re just focused on ourselves. We still have a few players missing, particularly in the second row, but we’re really excited about hosting the champions and putting on a good performance and hopefully keeping this winning run going.”

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