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MATCH REPORT – Bahrain travelled to Muscat in the final round of the 2017-18 Gulf Conference League Campaign

April 6th, Gulf Conference Round 6

Muscat 43 –   24 Bahrain 2s

Bahrain Second XV had a tough start to the day with some visa issues causing a delay, this lead to a very brief warm up for the team before the 8pm Kick off. This disjointed preparation played a part in Bahrain taking time to get into the game and conceding 19 quick points to a clinical Muscat side.

That being said the team deserve massive credit for fighting back from this situation, the forwards took a strangle hold on the game and got themselves on the board with a well worked driving maul, Hooker Lindsey Gibson emerged from the pile of bodies with the spoils respectively. This served up a boost of confidence for the 2nd XV as they won a series of solid line-out possession in dangerous areas allowing the backs to play off a strong platform. This led to Bahrain catching the opposition out down the blindside through smart handling from Tom Ham, giving hooker Gibson his second easy try with a 10m run in, converted by Joel Lewis bringing the scores back to 19-12. The momentum switched again shortly after as a resilient Muscat showed how deadly they could be in broken play with a well worked team try to stretch into the lead once more.

Yet again Bahrain fought back through the forwards with some massive scrums in the opposition 22, Tighthead prop Sal Wilson showing age is just a number by dominating his opposite number alongside loosehead Matt Mckee. The seconds managed to turn this dominance into a try in the corner for youngster Angus Drummond who had an excellent game and was deservedly Man of the Match after making several searing line breaks and some excellent try saving tackles bringing the scores to 26 -17 at half time.

Despite a good start to the second half for the 2s – Muscat broke away and scored an excellent length of the field try to extend their lead yet again, Bahrain were not ready to give up though and scored again through impressive debutant Ali Aldajani who burst through several tackles on his way to the line, Lewis again converted to bring Bahrain back into touching distance at 33-24.

Unfortunately, Bahrain ran out of steam in the last 15 mins largely due to injuries and players having to play out of position and only travelling with a 20 man squad. During this period Muscat finished the scoring with a penalty and a try in the dying moments. This didn’t stop Bahrain playing some expansive rugby with the last play of the game in search of another try, some excellent offloads from Nigel Phillips and some impressive breaks from the livewire Chris Coupland.

A full-time score of 43-24 looks harsh on the 2nd XV as they fought valiantly throughout and were unlucky on a couple of occasions. There were several excellent individual performances on the night and the boys can hold their heads high after what has been an excellent season for the Bahrain Second XV.