There were two red cards in the epic clash, with both Exiles’ Thomas Sackman and Canes’ Mark Weissenborn given their marching orders, while an unnecessary yellow card for Exiles flanker Matt Mills late on led to lock Daniel perry crashing over for the winning score.
It was a richly deserved triumph for James Ham’s men, although skipper David Knight insists it will count for little should Canes not follow it up.
Canes welcome Abu Dhabi Saracens – who picked up their own maiden win of the season last week – to The Sevens tomorrow. And Knight insists inflicting a second defeat of the season on Exiles needs to be backed up.
“We enjoyed the win but it means nothing if we don’t back it up,” said the UAE international flanker.
“Playing Sarries away is very tough with their narrow pitch so we need to capitalise when we’re at home. It’s our last game until after the Dubai 7s so we need to finish this block of the season on a high. They beat Bahrain last week though so we know it’s going to be another tough one.”
The WAP campaign takes a rest for the sevens season in two week’s time, though Al Ain Amblers’ withdrawal means Canes only have tomorrow’s game before an eight-week break ensues.
“We can’t wait for this weekend but we must forget last weekend and put another performance in,” added Perry. “It’s the last game before the Sevens against a good Sarries side who also have momentum after a good win against Bahrain.”
Last week’s game came at a cost with Will Crossley and Nick Beaumont unavailable for the visit of Sarries, while Weissenborn serves a one-match ban. Scrum-half Derrick Tredray is also unavailable but Toby Oakley is available at full-back and Ollie Turton could make his first appearance of season.
UAE winger Ian Overton has also completed his transfer from Jebel Ali Dragons and will undoubtedly strengthen Canes’ backline.
Sarries and Canes are still at the bottom of the WAP table with five points each and the visitors will also be looking to kick on.
“It was a good win last week, just what we were hoping for, but we need to keep working to achieve a nice result at the end of the season,” said Sarries skipper Jaen Botes.
“Rest assured we’re not going to let one win boost our confidence too much, we still have to work hard and focus on the next job and that what we’re doing and our feet are still on the ground.
“We need to back that win with a good performance against Hurricanes. They’re on a high and we know they will be looking to back their own win up, so we need to stay focused and look to go to the break with a clear mind.”
Full-back Matt Hutchings added: “I think we need to step up another level from last week’s performance against an equally confident Canes team that will be fired up after their win.”
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