Dubai Sevens: Abu Dhabi Harlequins topple Dubai College to claim Gulf Under-19 Girls title

Club from capital dominate final against defending champions in front of packed stands on Pitch 1

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Marysa Crowther said her Abu Dhabi Harlequins side had fulfilled their dream after they beat Dubai College 36-5 in the final of the Gulf Under-19 Girls tournament at the Emirates Dubai Sevens.

The side from the capital scored seven tries to topple the holders in the final on a packed Pitch 1.

“It is really hard to believe,” said Crowther, the Quins captain.

“I still haven’t processed it. I’m so proud of all of us. We really wanted this and I think we really needed it. This was our year.

“Going into it we were thinking they were the strongest team out there, but we just wanted to play our game.

“We are confident in our team and we rely on each other. It is amazing for us. We played really well.”

The British School Al Khubairat pupil first started rugby when she was five. She has been a regular visitor to the Sevens and has always aspired to playing in a final on the main field.

“I had butterflies in my stomach waiting to run out as it is a bit daunting playing in the big stadium,” Crowther said.

“But it was such a great experience having everyone there cheering for you. Whenever there was a pause in play you would notice the roaring. It was such a great atmosphere. There is nothing like it.

“I first came to the Sevens when I was six and I have always looked up to the older girls and women playing.

“It has always been a massive dream of mine to actually get into that stadium and win. To get the chance to perform like this in front of other people is so amazing.”

Aubrey Roberts, the side’s coach, said he nearly threw up given the emotions he was feeling. His daughter, Scarlett, was one of the outstanding players in a dominant team display by the Quins.

A former player and coach for the Quins men’s team, he has been coaching the girls side since they were Under-12s, all because of the affection his daughter had for the sport.

“I had stepped away from the club but I saw that she was interested so I thought, why not?” Roberts said.

“They go to different schools, it is a mix of girls, but they are incredible human beings. They just want to play rugby, to throw the ball around, so I am blessed, really.

“And I get to spend a lot of time with my 18-year-old daughter because of this. It is brilliant. Not many dads get that opportunity.

“They might take them to school, or take them to dancing, but to get the chance to be there with her because of this is just great.”

Scarlett’s performance in the final belied the fact she has been recuperating from reconstructive knee surgery.

She ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament 18 months ago while playing a senior women’s match. Her display in front of the packed stands at the Sevens was evidence she is fully healed now.

“It was unreal, like nothing I have ever experienced,” Scarlett said.

“It is the most nerve-racking thing I have ever done, but it was exciting as well. We are such a close team, all good friends, and we supported each other.”

Updated: December 03, 2023, 6:20 AM