Luke Stevenson kicks Abu Dhabi Harlequins past Dubai Hurricanes in West Asia Championship

Stevenson contributed 22 points for Abu Dhabi Harlequins to clinch a 37-34 victory over Dubai Hurricanes. Stevenson held his nerve to knock over the winning points from a 35-yard at Zayed Sports City, writes Amith Passela.

ABU DHABI // Luke Stevenson contributed 22 points for Abu Dhabi Harlequins to clinch a 37-34 victory over Dubai Hurricanes on Friday and extend their winning streak to four in the West Asia Championship.

It was a close duel between the sides throughout, with the scores level in the final seconds before Stevenson held his nerve to knock over the winning points from a 35-yard at Zayed Sports City.

The lead changed nine times during the game as both sides had spells of dominance over the other, but without ever being able to pull away and kill the game off.

Stevenson, the Harlequins fly-half, acknowledged his side had not been at their best for spells of the game, but said the result demonstrated the spirit within the side.

“We are coming after the Christmas break and still looking a bit rusty,” he said.

“But the important thing is we still managed pulled it off at the end.

“It was a hard game and a lot of unforced errors, particularly in the first half. However, we managed to play better after the break and scored two tries.

“This result showed the real character of our players. I had a good game but it wouldn’t have been possible with the support of my teammates. They earned the penalties and I knocked it over.”

The visitors went into the break with a slim 16-15 lead. Darragh Duggan and Mike Jasko scored tries while Andrew Powell fired over two penalties against the five from Stevenson.

Harlequins began the second half with a try through Kyle Knox at the left corner flag and Stevenson made a tough conversion to regain the lead 22-16.

Kit Branch, the Hurricanes full-back cut the deficit with a drop goal, and Powell’s try when the Harlequins had three of their players in sin bin put the visitors in front again 24-22.

Harlequins won a lineout from the Hurricanes area to send Max Trimble before Matthew Smith completed an excellent move from their own 22-metre area for a 34-27 lead.

And when it looked like the Harlequins had done enough the Hurricanes hit back to level the scores when a penalty try was awarded for a series of offside offences by the home side.

Powell, who had fired a penalty earlier made no mistake of the conversion from front of the posts.

Stevenson had the last say though, with the match-winning penalty.

In other action in the championship on Friday, Dubai Exiles proved too good for Abu Dhabi Saracens as they cantered to a 43-10 success, while Doha claimed an emphatic 32-0 victory over Bahrain.

apassela@thenational.ae

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