Men’s XV will take on the Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Our Men’s XV Team will be defending our home ground in this weekends Abu Dhabi derby.

Come join us for one of the biggest matches of the year! Abu Dhabi Saracens will take on the Harlequins at Al Ghazal Golf Club. Kick off is at 5pm. Al Ghazal is kitted out with a spectators stand, a pitch side bar, a playground for the kiddos and Murphys sports bar for post match celebrations. A great day out for the whole family!

Men’s 1st XV v Dubai Dragons (25 Jan ’19)

WHAT A GAME! What a CLUB and what a TEAM! In this report I’m just going to cut straight to it and say how proud it is to see Saracens achieving the goals we’ve set ourselves not only as rugby players, but as a Club and Team.

We went into the match knowing that the Dragons would be a tough and physical opponent. Despite a few disruptions due to injuries and unavailabilities the team had the job at hand & was completely focussed all week. There’s no better respect we can pay those team mates who can’t be with us than to represent them as if they were by carrying their passion and fire for them.

It took over 38 minutes for Sarries to score our first try, and after Josh Dransfield was sent from the field for an alleged high tackle (which he has since been cleared of and the red card over-turned). Alexandre Lassut captilised on the pressure he put on the opposition to recover a loose ball and run away with a well deserved try, and converted by Louw Marais. This sent Sarries into the break 0-7 up, to play out the rest of the game with 14 players. At half time we discussed how much we as a club relish these times: when our backs are against the wall, when the numbers are stacked against us and we prove our determination and fighting spirit. 
The second half opened to see Sarries score at the 44th minute mark. It was no surprise to see Francesco “Cappuccino” work his magic to score over the try line, and then converted by Louw Marais to see us 0-14 ahead. Despite some fantastic defence by Louw (all game!), and a brilliant game by Matthew Luxmore to read the play and secure ball from the blind wing, the Dragons scored an opportunistic try that went unconverted to make the score 5-14.

The 51 minute mark saw Sarries down to 13 players due to a yellow card for Louw for his unrelenting defence on his opposite player, and therefore Stefan Van Zyl take over the kicking duties. But with only 13 players on the pitch the team rallied: our scrum maintained dominance and backline unbreakable. Stafan slotted a penalty goal to keep our points ticking over. A true mark of how far Saracens have come this year to absorb all the difficulties and still go forward…. (This was unthinkable only 3 years ago).
The player count was later reduced to 14 players from the Dragons as a player was sent from the field for stomping. In true form Sarries didn’t retaliate but turned the opposition’s ill discipline into points as Loic Denomatsom scored a well earned tight forward’s try and then in the dying minute a try to the Sarries Captain, Stephan Marty “Martoch” as he folded around the side of the breakdown to score in the corner. The final soreline ended 5-27 to Sarries.

Alexandre Lassut was a well deserved Man of the Match for his “never-say-die” attitude to chase down every player and every ball. It was another stand out performance from our tight 5, especially our second row combination of Hans and Mario. Louw Marais was thrown into the flyhalf position and truly excelled – well done. Every Saracen from the Chairman to our Ladies, and most passionate supporters are what has bought us this far.
We have a long way to go and need to focus on our game against the Harlequins this Friday, 1st February at Al Ghazal (5 pm kick off). We have the respect for our cross-city rivals to show them the best we can train for and deliver on match day.


Men’s 1st XV v Dubai Knights (11 Jan ’19)

We made a conscious decision to begin 2019 from a higher platform from where we left 2018. While happy & confident with our form we knew we could raise the bar even further, & continue to do so into 2019.

Our match against the Knights gave us the ability to expose our depth of players to the pressures of starting for the 1st XV as well as develop more strength to the depth we have worked so hard to create. We were able to consider player positions & options & assess what & where we needed to work on amongst our ranks. To that end I am confident we succeeded & utilised the full capacity of our players ranks.

The game started slowly for Sarries. From the videos it was evident we had the energy running on to the pitch but it took 15 minutes for us to “get into the game”. In those first 15 mins we saw some strong attacks close to & on our line which were match only by our well executed defence & commitment at the fringes of the ruck. Great commitment & great determination to have held the Knights out as the players did.

This was the wake up call we needed in order to get into the rhythm we train for & structure we know how to play in. The momentum changed & it was from there Sarries began to really step up the pace. This momentum really was evident when strong runs were made by players like Alexandre Lassut, we capitilised on the metres gained, did not panic, re-formed our structure to force 2 more well performed phases which allowed us to score a fantastic team try which began deep in our own territory.

10 minutes before the second half saw many of the bench take the field. We wanted to build on the platform created & now turn the pressure into a strangle-hold of the game. Mairihia Taraufau bought some fantastic strength to our scrum & did everything asked of him, & more. He was replaced by Silipeleto Kavaufea who entered the game with his typical passion & fire – taking off from where Tara had so well left us. Johannes Fourie regained his superb 7’s form to set a strong foundation & was replaced by our try scoring machine Francesco Balestrieri. Matt Luxmoore was replaced by Stefan Van Zyl as he moved from the wing to halfback in order to allow Marcel Botha on to the other wing. Our locks (Mario & Hans) were extraordinary in the game play – thank you. Mario Toral was replaced to nurse a niggling hamstring injury as Kurt Ohlsen took the field to be the breakdown legend he’s become. Lastly & by no means least is whom we all know & respect to be one of the best players honouring the Sarries jersey, Stephan Marty came on to give Armando Kruger a well deserved break from the amazing work he does week in & week out.

From a 19-0 lead at half time Sarries ended the game as 60-0 victors on our home ground. What was most pleasing to see as a coach was that after every try our players were running back into position demanding “one more” from themselves. We showed our opposition the respect to not take our foot off the accelerator but to play till the final whistle. When we made errors we fixed them & re-gained our structure within a 1 or 2 minutes – something that we have been working on all season.

Hans Taniform was a deserved Man of the Match for his composure & amazing play all game, closely followed by Mario Toral & the ever incumbent Joel Lane: our tight forwards leading the charge.
Well done Sarries. We continue to improve every week. This Friday 18th January sees us playing agains the Dubai Eagles in Dubai.

Saracens Women’s Team Will Host the Next Tournament of the Season

This Friday, 18th January, 10 women’s teams will travel from across the UAE to Al Ghazal Golf Club for the next tournament of the season. The teams will compete across two divisions for the tournament title and points towards their season rankings.

Even with the long break, the Saracen’s women’s team has been training hard and are ready to come back fighting this new year. This weekend will be the first women’s tournament to be hosted at Al Ghazal, making our girls even more determined to defend their home ground.

We are excited to welcome over 200 people to Al Ghazal which will be kitted out with spectator areas, a pitch side bar, a playground for the kiddies and a whole day worth of non-stop rugby. Post-tournament celebrations will carry on in Murphy’s pub, where we will be honouring the golf club with our fancy dress theme- Chicks with Sticks.

Saracens XV will take on the Arabian Knights in the first home match of 2019

On the 11th of January, the Sarries Mens XV team will play their first game of the new year. The team will be playing at home in Al Ghazal Golf Club, Abu Dhabi. The team has started the new year strong, getting straight back into training, and are more than ready to take on the Knights in what should be a great game of rugby.

Al Ghazal will have a pitch side seating area and bar set up ready for supporters. Kiddos are welcome so bring along the whole family and join us for dinner and celebrations at the golf club after.

All players are to meet at Al Ghazal for 3.30 pm sharp. Players are to wear Sarries Polo Shirts and warm up kit prior to the game.