The Mens first XV team have now completed the first three games of the season. The team is contending in the UAE Conference this season after making the decision at the end of last season to step down into second division rugby. Fifty plus players are turning up to training and the team re-building phase is coming along nicely. The starting lineup is being modified each week based on performance of players both in practice and during fixtures. The 1st XV are 2 and 1 in the first three games.
Game one was against the Dubai Wasps II in Dubai at the historic Sevens grounds. The Wasps II team is also in a building phase and the lack of playing time for the team showed. The Amblers were able to shut down the wasps 62 to 0. Tries were scored by both our forwards and backs with a number of breakaway tries for Patrick and Rosco. The Man of the Match award was shared by the hard tackling pair of Carlos and Karl. The COM went to Larry for hippidy-hopping across the try line in non-cool style.
Game two was changed at the last minute to a home game against the Harlequins II. It proved to be the first real test for the Amblers Men and the score ended at 4 tries to 1 for the Quins. The first half got off to a tough start for the Amblers who gave up 3 unanswered tries. The second half was much more solid and the Amblers were able to spend most of the half in the Quins red zone and the score was even at 1 try each. Unfortunately the injuries were high with the Quins suffering a broken collar bone and an early Amblers MVP candidate, Carlos suffered a season ending broken ankle. Man of the match went to Jason P. for his awesome footwork and try scoring efforts. COM went to Qwyane, our smallest back for starting a fight with the Quins biggest forward. Even though the team lost it was a big night in the clubhouse with the sounds of Cool Shadies and DJ Chalkie rocking the rugby grounds. Most of the team was still present at last call!
After a tough loss in game two, the third game of the season was going to be pivotal if the Amblers 1st XV were to secure a winning record. This was to be a challenge since the team were to face the undefeated Dubai Hurricanes II. The home game was played in front of packed house since the Breast Cancer Awareness event was run just prior to the game. The spectators were treated to a spectacular game with the score going being kept within only a few points for the entire game. The Canes got on the board first with a penalty kick. The Dubai kicker proved to be a thorn in the Amblers side as he capitalized on every penalty with range of the posts. In fact even though the Amblers posted 5 tries to the Canes single try the score was always with reach for Dubai due to the fantastic kicking. In the end the Amblers had a 1 point lead with only a few minutes to go but sealed the deal with a late try by the backs which was setup nicely by gutsy play from the forwards when it counted. The Man of the match was again shared but by two backs, Patrick with his dazzling moves to step his opposition and score and Rosco who mixed up his speed and side-step with some tough in-your-face contact. Eddie had an honourable mention for finally kicking to touch! COM went to Roy for throwing a punch within 30 seconds of coming off of the bench and then getting two additional warnings from the referee within minutes. Another big party night, maybe the biggest post game party in the last few years, a great reason to come and support the Amblers, Desert Groove supplied the live music, of course with support from DJ Chalkie!
After three games the Mens 1st XV are 2-1 and in fourth place overall but 1 game played behind the top of the leaderboard. click image for larger view….