Our Ladies in Al Ain!

Round 3 of the Women’s 7’s League took our girls to Al Ain, where they competed in the B League, taking on Dubai Ospreys, Al Ain B, Abu Dhabi Bats and Sharjah. Nerves kicked in for the girls which equated to a slow start in the first game against Dubai Ospreys, resulting in a defeat.

Game play improved in Match 2 against Al Ain with the girls running good lines and passing better. Abu Dhabi Bats (Harlequins) brought with it some injuries, but it also brought the girls their first win of the day which was the highlight of the day. With spirits high going into the fourth and final game, the girls gave it their all and played a competitive game and gave overall B League winners a run for their money, but unfortunately lost with a score line of 15-10. MOMs went to Tracey and Roxy for their overall efforts and contributions!

The fun didn’t stop there though as Al Ain hosted a circus themed tournament and had lots more games for us to play including obstacle races and 3 legged races in our mime outfits! All eyes now turn to preparing for Dubai 7s in 3 weeks’ time.

It’s Sevens & Vet’s 10’s Time at Sarries !!!

Sarries Men and Women put our Dubai 7’s Tournament plans into overdrive as we prepare our respective Mens 1st, Ladies 1st and Vets 10’s teams for the Dubai 7’s running from 29th & 30th November, and 1st December.

Those interested in participating please contact the Club via the contacts on the website, or Ali Murray (Vets) on ‭+971 50 446 7552‬.

Men’s 1st XV v Tigers (9 Nov ’18)

It was a hard fought game at Al Ghazal for the Sarries Mens 1st XV. Despite one of their best performances top of the table Dubai Tigers managed to score penalty goal at the 80th minute to secure a 21-24 win.

While Sarries started strongly The Tigers managed an early converted try within the first 5 minutes. An Achilles heal of Sarries has been a slow start to the game, however their strength is & always will always be their ability to fight back. This determination lead to Rohan Vorster (13) crossing the line for a converted try only 4 minutes later. A subsequent penalty goal from Stefan Van Zyl (15) and drop goal from Capt Jonathan Taylor (7) took Sarries out to a 13-7 lead at the half time break.

Predictably the Tigers came out fighting with an early try after the break to again see Sarries recoup to fight back with another penalty goal to Stefan Van Zyl (15), but only to see The Tigers cross for a further converted try. Sarries’ defence began to become more and more effective with some determined line speed and aggressive tackling. Vice Captain Lucien Ruiters (10) managed to capitalise on a loose ball to kick through, regather and race over for another Sarries try at the 64th minute. Unfortunately the conversion was off the mark leaving the scoreline 21-21.

The final 15 minutes saw both teams rally with some fierce attacking lines and strong defence. At the 80th minute The Tigers were awarded a penalty from a ruck infringement 25 metres out & directly in front of the Sarries goal posts. The penalty was successful with the game declared over. Naturally The Tigers players were jubilant while at the expense of the heart broken Sarries supporters and players.

While disappointed at the loss the Saracens Mens 1st XV can take away the fact that their progress and improvement is definitely there. We must continue to work on our fitness & discipline: 2 things that can leave us exposed. Our ball retention must be regarded as uncompromising. Giving our opposition possession from hard fought efforts is something we will continue to work on and improve. As a team we have a quiver of attacking weapons however we must be able to utilise them all with confidence! We know we have another 10%-15% to improve on: something that while not easy to achieve is something that will make tight games into secured wins.

Man of the match was Kurt Ohlsen whose game at no. 8 was superb. His courage at the breakdown to secure our ball and attack the opposition’s ball was brilliant all game. Special mention also must go to Joel Lane for another standout performance of being that strong & reliable weapon up front. In fact, and once again, the entire tight 5 were strong. Winger Francesco Balastrieri was dominant at the kickoffs allowing Sarries to begin the restart deep into the opposition’s 22. His ability to turn defence into attack as well as speed with ball in hand was inspiring for all the team and spectators.

The results of the weekend’s games see Sarries middle of the table despite pushing the top of the table team to their closest game yet. We will be excited to welcome back our French contingent (“Les Bleurs”) in Sarries jerseys to bolster what is already a formidable and strong team.

Sadly this game saw us farewell one of the Club’s best. We said goodbye to Morne Basson to our regular 15’s team in typical Sarries Family style. On behalf of all Sarries who came before you, those with you today and those who will follow in your legacy, THANK YOU MORNE.

Saracens Men now will focus on the upcoming Sevens and Vets 10’s for the Dubai 7’s at the end of November. Our next home game is not until 14th December when we take on the Dubai Sharks away.

Al Ain Round 2 Match Report (2nd Nov 18)

Injuries and unavailabilities really pushed the Men’s 1st XV with only 18 players available. In true Sarries spirit the boys took on Al Ain at the Al Ain Rugby Club and never backed down. Unfortunately Sarries lost 24 – 15 against a full complimented Al Ain team. Special mention must go to the Saracens Tight Five of Big Joe, Callie, Joel, Morne and Kurt for an effort that was nothing short of inspirational. Up until the final 15 minutes Sarries were right in the game but fresh legs from the Al Ain team proved the difference. Captain Jonathon Taylor as always led with utter conviction & humbly paid tribute to Al Ain’s win in his post match speech.

Moving forward we’re learned some lessons both on and off the field….. We prepare for our home game this Friday 9th November at Al Ghazal determined to improve from those lessons.

Thank you to all Sarries supporters! See you at Al Ghazal (aka “The Fortress”!) this coming Friday for our game against the Dubai Tigers – 5 pm kick off.

A BIG week of Rugby for The Sarries Family!

This week sees Saracens play the top of the ladder team, The Dubai Tigers in a game the men are desperate to win. We farewell one of our best, Morne Basson in what is expected to be a big game for the Sarries men! In the first round the Tigers managed to secure a win. With the welcomed addition to our coaching staff of Josh Dransfield we are preparing for nothing less than a hard fought and well earned WIN this weekend! Kick off is at 5 pm at Al Ghazal Golf Club.

Our amazing and talented Ladies venture away to Al Ain to continue their fantastic improvement and success. We wish them our very best and are eagerly looking forward to seeing them back in Abu Dhabi later that night to hear of their success.

Sarries Mens 1st XV take on Al Ain Amblers in Al Ain

Sarries Mens 1st XV travel Al Ain. All players are to meet at AL AIN RUGBY CLUB (google maps as needed) for 3.30 pm sharp. Players are to wear Sarries Polo Shorts and warm up kit prior to the game.

This week we aim to improve our DISCIPLINE, STRUCTURE, DEFENCE & COMMITMENT to each other!