Dubai Tigers scale new peak with Gulf Men’s League title win over Abu Dhabi Harlequins

UAE rugby’s newest top-flight club claim most significant silverware to date at Emirates Dubai Sevens

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

A little under two months ago, in front of around 100 spectators on the other side of The Sevens precinct, Dubai Tigers celebrated what they termed the finest moment of their young club’s history to date.

That was a XVs win in the domestic league against Dubai Exiles, and it was understandable why they valued it so highly.

After all, a decade ago, the Tigers were not yet in existence, while their opposition have started on their second half-century.

This weekend, they were able to celebrate at even more significant milestone, watched by a crowd of thousands on the main field at the Emirates Dubai Sevens.

By beating another of the UAE’s great old institutions, Abu Dhabi Harlequins, 24-7 in the final of the Gulf Men’s League, they had claimed their first major silverware as a club.

“From a sevens standpoint for sure [it is the greatest moment so far for the club], but just generally we have six teams here this weekend, so it has been a big weekend for the club,” Jamie Clarke, the Tigers coach, said.

“We knew this team had the talent to win it, it was just a matter of whether or not we could. We ended up doing it.

“It is credit to [Shane Thornton, the Tigers chairman] and the way he build the club organically. From then, six or seven years ago, to where it is today, it is pretty incredible. Especially when you consider all those other clubs have been around for 50 years or so.”

A year ago, the Tigers had suffered defeat in the final at the Sevens against the Exiles.

Going one better this time around was testament to their commitments, according to Charlie Taylor, their captain.

“We got here last year, put so much effort in, and fell to a narrow loss,” Taylor said.

“This time around, we changed our preparation. We had some fresh legs, some new boys with experience, and played our own game.

“We can all play rugby, it was just about putting the pieces together and try to stay injury free through the six games leading up to the final.

“It was a massive effort. The boys worked really hard and really wanted it after the sore loss last year.”

Updated: December 06, 2022, 7:02 AM