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Bahrain RFC’s first XV took a step closer to securing first place in the final West Asia Premiership standings on Friday as they earned a hard fought 21-10 win over Dubai Exiles in Saar. 

A first half brace of tries from full-back Deina Morete and a third score by Lindsey Gibson on the hour mark saw Bahrain in control for much of what was an attritional contest but two late touchdowns and some questionable tactics from the Exiles throughout the game will leave the league leaders will plenty to work on and no shortage of motivation for the business end of the season. 

The visitors set their stall out early as they pitched up in their alternative red playing kit, despite knowing full well that Bahrain would be due to play in their traditional colours, as has been the case for the majority of the club’s history. Understandably, the referee wasn’t happy with the colour clash, and so the home side were forced into a last-minute change that saw them enter the field in a set of white jerseys that had already been worn in an inter club fixture earlier in the day. The move didn’t seem to put Bahrain off their stride however, as Morete struck after just two minutes and fly-half James Whittingham added the conversion to the delight of an anticipant home crowd, enjoying their first taste of competitive rugby since mid-December. 

The lead was doubled 20 minutes later as Morete got on the end of a sweeping backline move and with Whittingham uncharacteristically off target with a couple of penalty attempts, it remained 14-0 until the break. Gibson’s sixth league try of the season gave Bahrain a healthy cushion but the Exiles were determined to spoil the party by any means possible and earned two late tries of their own. 

The result means Bahrain need only one more win from their two remaining games to secure top spot in the league and will have them relishing any potential clash with Exiles in the play-offs.

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