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MATCH REPORT – AD HARLEQUINS 14 – 24 BAHRAIN – SEP 21

Round 2 of the WAP saw Bahrain battle against Quins for the second time in 2 weeks.  Two physical encounters have left both squads battered and bruised but Bahrain came away with the spoils for the 2nd week running and more importantly achieved that all-important winning bonus point at Zayed Sports City for the first time in their history.

Bahrain travelled to ZSC with an already depleted squad but was excited about the game and the potential of beating Quins two weeks in a row. The game started superbly for the men in red with multiple overlaps early on allowing Bahrain to attack out wide and make valuable yardage at crucial times. A well-managed period of pressure in the Quins 22 saw Bahrain get on the scoreboard first with some confrontational carrying from Tongan new recruit Sunia Fameitau barging over from 8 meters out for his second try in 3 games. Bahrain continued the pressure in the Quins half through some brilliant pressure kicking from outside half Ross Preedy giving the team vital field position. A great break away from a maul saw Callum Roberts bursting into the Quins 22 and a brilliant bit of vision from Preedy saw him place a grubber kick perfectly behind the Quins line for a brilliant try from wing Dai Evans – converted by Preedy – Quins 0 – Bahrain 12.

It wasn’t plane sailing for the next 20 minutes as Quins started to show what they were about with a brilliant piece of magic from UAE international outside half Luke Stevenson putting their winger under the sticks with a clinical offload. Bahrain managed to break their way back down the field and almost mirrored the previous try with a brilliant offload from 2018 WAP Player of the Season Lindsey Gibson putting in Jack Phillips for Bahrain’s third try of the game. Converted by Deina Morete – Quins 7 – Bahrain 19. Unfortunately, during that sequence, Bahrain’s golden boot Ross Preedy went down with a knee injury stopping him from continuing in the match.

Before halftime Quins were able to get on the scoresheet once more through some brilliant play from their impressive 9, Andrew Semple catching out Bahrain’s short side defence with a great pass putting in the Quins winger for their second try – Halftime score – Quins 14 – Bahrain 19.

The second half was a messy affair with both teams losing their 10’s to injuries, the ability of both teams to relieve pressure was massively reduced and this favoured Quins for large parts of the second half with Bahrain unable to clear their lines – Quins had 70% possession and territory in the 2nd half and Bahrain knew it would take a monumental effort to hold out Quins for such a long period. And that was the story of the half for Bahrain – wave after wave of attack on the Bahrain line for 30 mins – the Redwall held strong and a great turnover from a ruck and a fly hack from the excellent defender Jordan Viggers saw Bahrain clear the lines for the first time in the half. An opportunist break from Man of the Match Sunia Fameitau saw Bahrain break into the Quins 22 for the first time in the 2nd half and a great pass from Nick Annear put Jack Phillips in for his second try of the game and earning that crucial bonus point try.

The final whistle went giving the final score of Quins 14 – Bahrain 24 and both sets of players collapsed exhausted after a hard-fought contest in 39-degree heat.

A great result for Bahrain and whilst it was not perfect by any means was a real step forward for this young team – the character shown in the second half to withstand that pressure will stand them in good stead for some battles to come in the near future. The Bahrain side now prepares for a rejuvenated DSC Eagles who travel to Bahrain for round 2 of the WAP this Friday, 28th, 5PM K.O.

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