Reyal stars as UAE rout Uzbekistan in Asia Rugby Championship

Matt Jones - Editor 21:06 18/05/2016
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UAE will play against Thailand next.

The UAE face a promotion showdown with Thailand on Saturday after they blitzed Uzbekistan 65-13 in a bruising encounter on the opening day of the Asia Rugby Championship.

Apollo Perelini’s side made light work of the hosts, who are officially ranked four places below them at 87th in World Rugby’s rankings.

The UAE were out of sight by half-time, surging into a 40+ point lead at the interval, with full-back Imad Reyal running the show and helping himself to a brace of tries.

It remained one-way traffic after the break, Ryno Fourie and Jaen Botes also touching down twice while Dubai Exiles flyer Charlie Sargent went over for a hat-trick.

Abu Dhabi Harlequins’ lock Phil Brady also crossed the whitewash as Perelini’s charges steamrollered Uzbekistan.

“We were only focusing on today’s game and came out on top with a win,” said Jebel Ali Dragons’ three-quarters Fourie.

“We will enjoy today’s result which is very pleasing and will regroup again for the final against Thailand on Saturday.”

Dubai Hurricanes’ lock Daniel Perry was making his debut for his adopted nation and described it as a physical encounter.

“It was a great result,” said Perry. “It was not easy, they were a big fit physical side and kept going until the 80th minute, but in the end we stuck to our game plan and everything we practiced paid off.”

Thailand reached the final courtesy of a 25-16 triumph against Guam. The UAE will be wary of facing an improved Thailand to the one they hammered 53-22 in Division II a year ago.

“We watched some of the Thailand v Guam game before ours and Thailand looked a much improved team from what we came up against last year so we’re expecting another hard game on Saturday,” said UAE and Abu Dhabi Saracens fly-half Matt Hutchings.

“It’s going to be a massive game for us and one that we will go into with confidence after today’s performance.”

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