DUBAI // Overachievement is a rare thing on the fields of the UAE. Such is the country’s thirst for success, expectations are often inflated, and it inevitably leads to disappointment.
Friday night, however, a team of women representing the Emirates showed courage and class to unexpectedly – and comfortably – finish atop their pool at the Dubai Rugby Sevens.
Dubai Hurricanes are competing in the International Open Women’s tournament for the first time after deciding to step up a level and fill the void left by the UAE national team, who are missing from this year’s tournament.
The jump to international level was expected to be too large for a side playing with only Gulf experience. Yet while they should be losing, instead, they are winning.
Over the past two days, they have played four matches, including games against the Swiss national team and another against representatives of Russia. They have won all four and today will play in the semi-final at 1.20pm.
Their performances have been all-conquering, with 75 points scored across their first three games and only 24 conceded.
Against the Russians yesterday, the Hurricanes went one better, bursting out of the blocks to immediately take the lead with their first attack. The final score read 37-0 and it could have been even more.
“We have done really well,” said Jenny Matheson, the captain of the Hurricanes. “We have a strong team in the league here and knew we would give it a good crack, but I definitely didn’t think we would come top of the pool.
“I thought we would come second or third rather than fourth or fifth, but to finish top of the group and put in the displays we have, it is a bit above and beyond what we expected.”
Matheson warned that today’s opponents, Askaris Predators, will be stronger than any of the sides they have yet played. Though the Predators lost their opening match, Pool B has proven a far-tougher group.
But the team rallied back from the opening day disappointment and progressed yesterday with an aggregate score of 79-51.
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