Doha close gap to Quins to three points

Matt Jones 01:05 19/02/2017
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It was a night of surprise in the West Asia Premiership as Abu Dhabi Harlequins suffered their first defeat of the season in Doha, while city

rivals Saracens picked up their first win in nearly four months to move off the foot of the table.

Mike McFarlane’s Quins were unbeaten in nine games heading to the Fortress, but Doha are in sublime form of late and Alex Natera’s side

pulled off a spectacular 29-16 win to move to within three points of the Zayed Sports City side.

A bonus point win for Doha saw Iliesa Rakabu, Isirelli Buimaiwai, Jope Tikomailepanoni and Pita Tuilagi cross for tries, while Brook

Tremayne converted three tries and added a penalty.

Despite the win, Natera still feels his side have a lot to work on if they are to topple Quins if the two sides meet again in the playoffs.

“We’re happy but not totally delighted,” said Natera.

“They played into our hands to be fair. Our defence was what we wanted, our kicking game and our set-piece is what enabled us to control

the game, and they never took the lead

“But, we got a lot to work on. As I say they played in to our hands a bit. They won't do that in the playoffs.”

Back in Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, Winston Cowie’s Sarries were celebrating just a second win in 10 games, coming from behind to secure a

38-33 win against Dubai Hurricanes with a last-minute try.

The bonus point win was secured thanks to a Rickus Swart hat-trick and tries for player-coach Cowie and Garth Van Niekirk, with the hosts

coming from 16 points adrift in the final 15 minutes at Al Ghazal against the 13-man visitors, who replied through their own hat-trick man,

Mike Jasko, with Darryl Johnson also touching down.

“We finally escaped and it was good to be on the right end of one of the close ones,” said Cowie.

“We came from 16 points down with 15 minutes to go to win it off the scrum in the last play of the game. I’m so pleased for the guys after

such a big effort this season but limited results.

“The guys really showed their character today and grafted when all seemed lost.”

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