Top spot in the West Asia Premiership is up for grabs for both Abu Dhabi Harlequins and Dubai Exiles this weekend as they go in search of victories to usurp leaders Bahrain.
Exiles are sat in second on 13 points, three behind the reigning champions, and will aim to make it a fourth win in a row after they were awarded a contentious 31-0 bonus point victory against previously unbeaten Quins last week.
Quins had sought to re-arrange their scheduled game last Friday on the basis of a front row injury crisis, but the two rivals could not come to an agreement and Quins were forced into a forfeit, which brings with it a 31-0 bonus point victory for the opposing team. Additionally for this season, league organisers Gulf Rugby have included a two-point deduction for the forfeiting team – something that has left a bitter taste in the mouths for Quins.
Exiles this week travel to Jebel Ali to take on Dragons in a Thursday evening kick-off. Jacques Benade’s men now boast the only unbeaten record and will look to keep that going against a home side that earned their first win of the season last week when they beat Dubai Knights Eagles 38-20.
Quins are also on the road and head to The Sevens to take on Dubai Hurricanes, who are hoping to avoid a third-straight defeat after their 35-9 reversal in Bahrain last week. Niall Lear’s side will also want to get over the disappointment of their forfeit and the men from the capital could still end the weekend back on top of the table should they earn a bonus point win and Exiles lose in Jebel Ali.
Surprise package of the season so far, Dubai Tigers are back in action after a bye week. They beat Dragons last time out and the UAE Conference champions will be aiming to make it back-to-back victories against struggling Knights Eagles.
West Asia Premiership fixtures
8pm Jebel Ali Dragons v Dubai Exiles
5pm Dubai Knights Eagles v Dubai Tigers
6pm Dubai Hurricanes v Abu Dhabi Harlequins
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