Head coach Mike McFarlane praises Abu Dhabi Harlequins after UAE Premiership Cup final win

Denzil Pinto 15:39 17/03/2018
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We are the champions: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Abu Dhabi Harlequins head coach Mike McFarlane lauded his team for their fine efforts after they clinched the UAE Premiership Cup with a hard-fought 28-25 victory over Dubai Exiles on Friday night.

There have already been two epic encounters between the two sides in the competition this season with Quins winning 29-25 at home before Exiles gained revenge at The Sevens with a 30-27 triumph. And Friday’s match at Zayed Sports City was no different.

Andrew Semple, Phil Brady and Siri Laddidi were the try-scorers for Quins as they bounced back from missing out on the West Asia Premiership Cup to Jebal Ali Dragons last week.

It was their second trophy of the season following their West Asia Champions League triumph and McFarlane had nothing but praise for his players.

“I’m absolutely delighted for us to win the final,” said McFarlane. “It was a tough attritional game against a very strong side. With the injuries we have faced this season to bag trophy number two this season is a massive achievement and is testament to the players and support staff.

“When we had the ball we were excellent. Defensively we held our shape and structure, something we’ve looked at closely. Our set piece was brilliant and gave us an excellent platform. It was a physical contest and one the boys relished.”

The teams will meet again twice over the next month – first in the West Asia Cup semi-final and then the UAE Premiership decider.

While McFarlane will be wary of a backlash from Exiles, he believes the victory will help them in good stead for the rest of the season.

“We always have confidence in what we do but of course it will help build on it further,” he said. “We have a huge few weeks to go and all the boys will be pushing hard to achieve everything possible.”

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