Feb 23, 2015
Unbeaten Saracens defeat Quins in the Gulf
Abu Dhabi Saracens edged rivals Abu Dhabi Quins 31-26 for the second time this season to remain top of West Asia’s premier rugby competition.
The UAE Sarries outfit amassed a 24 point lead, but had to withstand a spirited Quins fightback to take the victory. Elliott Reeder made sure of the points in the last few minutes, knocking over a superb penalty to put the game out of Quins’ reach.
Saracens made a quick start through the powerful Dillon Gage: a textbook catch and drive from a Saracens’ line out gave the hosts an early lead – Reeder couldn’t add the extras.
The former Saracens academy man was to score a fine try just a few minutes later. Reeder ran a great line, slicing right through the Quins back line to score under the posts. This time the Saracens’ no.10’s kick was good.
Saracens continued to take the game to Quins through their physical pack. After several phases of forwards’ ball, Jaen Botes took the ball at speed and bulldozed through his opposing centre to score Saracens’ third try of the evening. Reeder’s kick drifted just wide.
Some good Saracens defence was undone just before the end of the first half, as Quins responded with a converted try. Sarries went into the break 17-7 ahead.
The Saracens set piece has been huge strength throughout the season, and the scrum was firing again in the second half. Dillon Gage bagged his second try of the afternoon after a huge scrum allowed the loose forward to bundle over. A first Gulf Top Six try for Paddy Mckeon shortly afterwards made the score 31-7 to Abu Dhabi Saracens.
However, Abu Dhabi Quins weren’t about to roll over and responded immediately through winger Matt Hawley. Quins continued to enjoy possession and territory and scored two quick tries in succession to reduce the points deficit to just five points going into the final five minutes.
But it was Saracens that took control of the tie and won a penalty deep in the Quins 22, which Elliott Reeder nervelessly slotted to finally put Quins to bed. The win stretches Abu Dhabi Saracens' unbeaten streak to seven games and keeps them at the top of the table.
Full Time Score: Abu Dhabi Saracens 34 Abu Dhabi Quins 26