Sport | Rugby

Bats enter Arabian Gulf Cup final

Hosts Abu Dhabi took the rising temperatures in their stride as they outclassed Doha 38-7 to book a berth in the Arabian Gulf Cup final.

  • Staff Report
  • Published: 00:01 March 16, 2008
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Abu Dhabi's inside centre Alten Nortje tries to stop a Doha player during their Arabian Gulf Cup match. Abu Dhabi won the match 38-7 to clinch a berth in the final.

Abu Dhabi: Hosts Abu Dhabi took the rising temperatures in their stride as they outclassed Doha 38-7 to book a berth in the Arabian Gulf Cup final.

The Bats now take on Dubai Hurricanes in the Arabian Gulf Cup final on April 11, according to a press release from the Abu Dhabi side.

After the opening exchanges, hot on the heels in support of Ali Thompson, debutant Chris Jones crashed over the try line to put the home side in the lead.

Following phases of forward pressure, with flashes of brilliance from No 7 Austin Relton, a well-worked backs' move put Ben Williams over in the corner to stretch the lead to 12-0.

Not to be disheartened, Doha struck back within minutes. Their impressive try from Andrew Short was the result of a team effort with strong scrummaging and front row pressure on their opposition.

Short-lived glory

However, Doha's glory was short-lived. Thompson's opportunist break into the open side gave Bats scrum-half, Simon Walster, the chance to raise the lead to 19-7.

The Bats' momentum increased during the second half as they spread the ball wide but Doha also attacked, especially when their front row combined with number 8 Palmer in the line-outs.

However, the Bats replied with solid defence and strong work by Emmanuel Barry and his front row. Fly half Jo Czerpak, Abu Dhabi's player-coach, remained calm under pressure and strong in defence.

Fittingly, a superb solo effort from man of the match Czerpak from the halfway line led to another try converted by Matt Holz. A second try from Williams and a first from Thompson under the posts put Abu Dhabi well clear, bringing the final score to a decisive 38-7.

Club Chairman Richard Harris said, "This great semi-final spectacle of rugby shows the commitment and progression of this team as they move along the critical path towards lifting the trophy."

Skipper Mark Simon believes his team can compete with any side in the Gulf. "After losing narrowly in the league to Hurricanes, the boys will relish the opportunity to play them again," said Bats' vice-captain Ali Thompson.

Gulf News
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