Quins face their toughest test of the year against Doha

Matt Jones 12:46 16/02/2017
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Testing their might: Abu Dhabi’s Emosi Ratuvecanaua plows through the Dubai Exiles.

Mike McFarlane’s men have been head and shoulders above the opposition thus far this term, going nine games unbeaten and recording eight wins.

The only blot on their record is a draw, which came against second-placed Doha in Abu Dhabi in October.

That 23-23 stalemate will be on the minds of both teams’ players and coaches this weekend, with McFarlane’s league leading scorers heading to a ground known as the ‘Fortress’ to face Alex Natera’s men, who boast the best defence in the West Asia Premiership.

“It’s a ding dong battle ahead no doubt with both teams in good form,” said McFarlane.

“We had a fantastic match against the Doha lads at home earlier in the season and hope to bring a near to complete performance as possible this time round at their place.”

Travelling away in Gulf rugby is a notoriously difficult task, but Quins have already come through a tough test out west, having come from behind 15-0 to beat Bahrain 17-15 in December.

“As ever the joy of travelling away has brought it’s passport and visa problems regardless of the hours put into it,” added McFarlane.

“The boys have put together some excellent skill and contact sessions as they continue to fight for their spots within the two teams.”

Doha have won their last four games on the trot, which has included emerging from some big tests unscathed, including beating Jebel Ali Dragons 25-22 last week at The Sevens. And Natera feels defence is where the game will be won and lost. “There are some big preparations being put in for this game,” he said.

“We have picked up a few injuries this week but we are still looking strong. We learnt a lot from our draw against Quins last time round but we are also very aware that that wasn’t their best game against us.

“We need to work very hard on our defence and if we can do that we’ll come a long way to being very competitive in this match.

“We know other teams are becoming aware of our strike power out wide and we can see what they are trying to do to counter this threat.”

He added: “We’ve been working hard on making threats all around the park and, weather permitting, hopefully we can show this on Friday.

“However, defensive organisation and work rate will go all long way in deciding the result for us.”

Know more about Sport360 Application

Recommended

Most popular

Related Sections