It may have been a turbulent debut season for Dubai Eagles, but the fledgling side are dreaming of ending it with a trophy to bring home to the nest after blitzing Abu Dhabi Saracens to set up a West Asia Trophy final against Dubai Hurricanes.
Eagles stormed to a brilliant 53-7 win over Sarries on Friday at Dubai Sports City – earning just a second victory of their maiden campaign which also came over the Al Ghazal outfit, in September.
Eagles will now play Dubai Hurricanes on Friday, on the same day as Bahrain face Dubai Exiles in the final of the West Asia Cup.
The Trophy showpiece takes place at The Sevens, with Eagles relishing a chance to end their debut campaign with a trophy.
“It’s the first time we get the chance for a piece of silverware, in our first season, so we’ll be going all guns blazing for that,” said Eagles fly-half Sean Carey. “We’re really looking forward to finishing the season on a high.”
Although their first foray into domestic rugby has been a steep learning curve, Eagles have enjoyed playing Canes this season, going down 28-12 in their first West Asia Premiership clash in October and battling to a 36-23 defeat at home in February.
“We’re looking forward to another crack at Canes this weekend,” added Carey.
“We were disappointed with how we did when we had them at home, we thought we could do a lot better so it’ll be good to get another crack at them.”
Eagles will be buoyed heading into the final by the manner in which they put Sarries to the sword in Friday’s romp, with Carey revealing everything “clicked” for his side.
He said: “It was a good win. Everything seemed to click on the day. We’ve been training hard over the last few weeks and all came together for once this season.
“We had a lot of backs scoring the tries but the forwards set the platform and once that happened we started firing on all cylinders.”
The enthusiasm for having another crack at Canes, and with silverware at stake, is something driving Eagles ahead of the game, especially captain Conor Coakley, a former Canes player.
“Canes this weekend is huge and something that’s been on our radar for some time,” said the back rower.
“We’ve lost twice to them in two hard-fought games so we really want a shot at them and a trophy, and we’re buzzing for it. They will be too so we’re really looking forward to it.”
And the affable Irishman was pleased with a perfect performance against Sarries, likening Eagles’ performance to Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning Six Nations team.
“A lot of the systems we’ve been working on for the last few months with coach Andrew O’Driscoll have come to fruition now,” he added.
“It’s a bit late at the end of the season, but it’s still good. A lot of the link-up play was similar to Ireland winning the Grand Slam, with forwards popping up in the backs and throwing no-look passes. I was really happy with our performance.”
A delegation of Eagles players, meanwhile, will be heading to Sri Lanka after Friday’s game on a charity initiative, donating club kits to schoolchildren in the country.
Carey said of that initiative: “We’ve got the game on Friday and after that a few of us from the club are off on a charity trip to Sri Lanka, to give some jerseys to kids, delivering them to a school out there.”
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