Tight at the top of West Asia Premiership after Dubai Exiles beat Abu Dhabi Harlequins

West Asia rugby is set for its closest finish to a season in recent memory, after this weekend’s results meant the top four Premiership sides are now split by just two points with two weeks remaining.

Dubai Exiles leapfrogged Abu Dhabi Harlequins, the defending champions, at the top of the table with a 37-30 win over them at The Sevens, Dubai. Simultaneously, Jebel Ali Dragons thrashed Abu Dhabi Saracens, and Bahrain were comfortable winners at home to Dubai Hurricanes.

All of which means Exiles, having played a match more than each of their rivals, are level on 38 points at the top with Dragons. Harlequins are a point behind, with Bahrain a further point back from them.

Each of the teams are juggling frayed playing resources at the back end of a bruising season. One switch brought about by necessity proved key to Exiles unlocking a Harlequins side who suffered just their second loss of the campaign.

Tomas Sackmann made the unusual move from his regular position in the second row to play on the right wing instead.

For the second time this season, the Argentine proved the man for the big occasion. He scored two tries, just as he had done when the Exiles won the Dubai Rugby Sevens title in December.


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“It’s not an obvious move, but I play sevens, so I’m quite fast for being a forward which is why they tried me on the wing,” Sackmann said. “I did it four times last season because we had the same problem, being short of backs. It was really not a normal thing, but because we were short.

“In Argentina I always played flanker or second row. I never in my life expected to play on the wing. Luckily, it was better than I expected, because I never expected to score two tries in a really important match.

“We are really happy with the win and really focused on the next match.”

Exiles coach Jacques Benade was delighted his side had ensured they remain in contention for the Premiership title as the season reaches his finale – and that the Sackmann experiment worked.

“It happens that sometimes players who start in the back row move to centre or the other way round, but you don’t really see players move from the pack to the wings,” Sackmann said.

“We were just lucky. Tomas is always game. He is a really key man, and whatever is best for the team, he says, ‘Just play me there’. He is ones of those who just plays for the shirt, wherever you need him.

“We are very lucky to have guys like that in the squad. Hopefully that will push us through the end of the season.

“There are semifinals and finals to come now, and I think it is too tight to call. Anyone can beat anyone so there are going to be some interesting games coming up.”

Brahmastra: Part One - Shiva

Director: Ayan Mukerji

Stars: Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Amitabh Bachchan

Rating: 2/5


Estijaba – 8001717 –  number to call to request coronavirus testing

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Sri Lanka-India Test series schedule
  • 1st Test India won by 304 runs at Galle
  • 2nd Test India won by innings and 53 runs at Colombo
  • 3rd Test August 12-16 at Pallekele
Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

The five pillars of Islam

Creator: Tima Shomali

Starring: Tara Abboud, Kira Yaghnam, Tara Atalla

Rating: 4/5


Director: Bradley Cooper

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Carey Mulligan, Maya Hawke

Rating: 3/5

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

You Were Never Really Here

Director: Lynne Ramsay

Starring: Joaquim Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov

Four stars


Featherweight Bout: Abdullah Al Qahtani v Taha Bendaoud
Bantamweight Bout: Ali Taleb v Nawras Abzakh
Bantamweight Bout: Xavier Alaoui v Rachid El Hazoume
Featherweight Bout: Islam Reda v Adam Meskini
Bantamweight Bout: Tariq Ismail v Jalal Al Daaja
Bantamweight Bout: Elias Boudegzdame v Hassan Mandour
Amateur Female Atomweight Bout: Hattan Al Saif v Nada Faheem
Featherweight Bout: Maraoune Bellagouit v Motaz Askar
Featherweight Bout: Ahmed Tarek v Abdelrahman Alhyasat
Showcase Featherweight Bout: Mido Mohamed v Yazeed Hasanain
Showcase Flyweight Bout: Malik Basahel v Harsh Pandya

Ultra processed foods

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- margarines and spreads; cookies, biscuits, pastries, cakes, and cake mixes, breakfast cereals, cereal and energy bars;

- energy drinks, milk drinks, fruit yoghurts and fruit drinks, cocoa drinks, meat and chicken extracts and instant sauces

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Why your domicile status is important

Your UK residence status is assessed using the statutory residence test. While your residence status – ie where you live - is assessed every year, your domicile status is assessed over your lifetime.

Your domicile of origin generally comes from your parents and if your parents were not married, then it is decided by your father. Your domicile is generally the country your father considered his permanent home when you were born. 

UK residents who have their permanent home ("domicile") outside the UK may not have to pay UK tax on foreign income. For example, they do not pay tax on foreign income or gains if they are less than £2,000 in the tax year and do not transfer that gain to a UK bank account.

A UK-domiciled person, however, is liable for UK tax on their worldwide income and gains when they are resident in the UK.

Our Time Has Come
Alyssa Ayres, Oxford University Press

Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
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Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2