Saki Naisau magic helps Dubai Tigers end Abu Dhabi Harlequins resistance

Tigers keep pace with Bahrain at the top of the West Asia Premiership with victory in the capital

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Dubai Tigers were reliant on some trademark brilliance from Saki Naisau as they eventually tempered the threat of Abu Dhabi Harlequins.

Last season’s runners-up moved back level on points with Bahrain at the top of the West Asia Premiership following their 25-10 win at Zayed Sports City.

The away side suggested they might run away with it as they eased into a 10-0 lead at the start of the game, via a try from Tauteau Taufa plus kicks by Chanley Williams.

The hosts struck back impressively, though, and were level on points at half time having scored a try in the right corner through Chris McKee.

Their resistance was broken by a familiar source just after half time. Naisau, the Fiji-born UAE international who has been one of the outstanding backs in regional rugby for the best part of a decade, scored a brilliant solo try.

Jerome Harimate ended any prospect of a Quins comeback with a third try for the visitors.

The uplifting display by Quins against one of the most formidable sides in the Middle East was tempered by an injury to a key player.

James McCarthy, Quins’ former Wales sevens international, sustained a rib injury in a tackle in the first half against the Tigers.

He is now a doubt for their Emirates Dubai Sevens campaign, where they will be hoping to go one better than last year when they were losing finalists against the Tigers.

Updated: November 12, 2023, 6:28 AM