Youth Rugby in Dubai

We spent this weekend in Dubai at the Emirates Leisure Retail Youth Rugby Festival. (Emirates Today has a short article today, with some photos; Gulf News previewed it last week.) Little B plays for the Al Ain Amblers Under-10 team, and they competed against teams from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Doha, Azerbaijan, and three teams from Dubai.

The kids played really well in their seven games. They drew with Dubai 2, 5-5. The only try for Dubai came on a very unlucky intercepted pass. They lost a heartbreaker to Abu Dhabi 15-10. Then they reeled off three straight wins, besting Sharjah 30-5, Doha 20-5, and Dubai 3 20-10. Azerbaijan was too big and strong, defeating the Amblers 25-0. Then the next day, the team met up with the class of the league, Dubai 1, and played a very respectable game. They lost 30-0, but consider that the kids from Dubai outscored their opponents 195-0 in seven league matches.

After the round-robin round, the top four teams played a 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3 playoff series. Al Ain and Dubai 2 tied for fourth with 3 wins, 1 tie, and 3 losses. The first tie-break was the head-to-head game, which was a tie. The next was point differential. This lead to some very nervous moments for everyone involved and scoreboard watching.

Who's in Fourth? Emirates Leisure Retail Youth Rugby Festival, Dubai

Dubai and Al Ain were both -10 in point differential, which left the marshals in a quandry; the rules didn't envision the need for a third tie-breaker. Fortunately, the two coaches involved (in the pic above, Al Ain's is in yellow, Dubai's in red), in show of class and good sportsmanship (which all the coaches, save one, showed throughout the tourney - more on this at the end), agreed to play a short game and settle the question on the field.

Al Ain Amblers v Dubai Exiles 2

Dubai won and earned fourth place and their chance to play in the semis and a bunch of tired and bruised kids from Al Ain got their well deserved medals for fifth. And one of the Amblers was voted "Player of the Tournament" for the Under-10s. So congratulations to all the kids on all the teams.

Al Ain Amblers Under-10 Rugby Team

I wish that I could congratulate all the coaches too. I'm not sure what the proper term is for a man who
  • takes the opportunity of an injury to a player on the other side to run onto the field and berate his players

  • at the end of difficult game that he team fails to win, directly stalks off the field, while the rest of his team goes out to congratulate the other players and coaches

  • and worst of all, kicks (not at, but actually kicks) and yells at a four-year old child (mine in this case, but it could have been any of the many kids wondering about) for getting in his way. This happened not during the game itself, but as he is talking to his team beforehand.

Like I said, I don't know what you would call a man like that. I can think of some good ones that don't belong on a family blog. For right now, I just call him the Abu Dhabi Under-10 coach.


Anonymous said...

Are these teams made of lots of expat families? Are many of those kids families from UAE? (I ask because it doesn't immediately LOOK that way.)

Brn said...

I think that the vast majority of the teams are British/Aussie/Kiwi/SA expats. There are a couple of Arab kids on the Al Ain team, but I do not know where they are from.

Gerald England said...

I could think of a few names but will resist!