Dragons rout Muscat to show West Asia Championship ambitions

Matt Jones - Editor 20:30 30/01/2016
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Five star show: Niall Statham (r).

Jebel Ali Dragons are another team who will feel they can throw their hat in the ring for West Asian honours after they put Muscat to the sword with an 18-try blitz.

Following two weeks of relative stability for the men from Oman, Dragons torched them with a 110- 10 win at Dubai Sports City, which gives them two wins from three and puts them firmly in the title picture. Shaun McCartney led the way for Dragons with six tries, while UAE international Niall Statham waded in with five.

There was also a brace for Murray Strang and one each for Ben Blamire, Ross Samson, Sam Ewing, Emerson Bessell and Zander van der Westhuizen.

“We moved the ball nicely at times so although the game got ragged we worked our set piece well and some of our phase play looked slick,” said Statham. “To their credit they are a really committed team and scored two nice tries.”

Dragons face Abu Dhabi Harlequins next week in a rearranged fixture from the opening day.

“The table is blown wide open now so we’re just concentrating on ourselves now and enjoying the game,” added Statham. “We’ll go there and try to move the ball like we did in the sevens and today and anything can happen. Hopefully we can build on the confidence and take a full side next week.”

Muscat managed to fulfil the fixture despite travelling with the bare bones.

“We had 10 guys out injured and two with prior commitments so we travelled with 14,” said vice captain Karl Rasmussen. “Luckily one of our old players who moved here in November was willing to play, despite having competed in a half ironman earlier in the day.”

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