Xodus Wasps and Abu Dhabi Harlequins RL were the winners as the UAE rugby league championship returned in style with a double header at Dubai Sports City.
George Yiasemides, COO of the UAERL said, “This saw the beginning of our vision for the future of rugby league within the UAE.
“The season opener was a fantastic display of passion, commitment and entertainment by the four teams who battled the desert heat. The venue was superb, the standard was great and the future is looking prosperous for the sport.”
Yiasemides continued, “Collectively, the UAERL Board and Executive Committee must move forward with the resilience, persistence and determination it has displayed in the weeks leading up to the 2015 kick off. Exciting times are ahead for all those who are involved.”
The first match of the Nissan Cup saw Xodus Wasps RL defeat Al Ain Amblers RL 48-34 after trailing 22-24 at half time. Michael Sole and Conor Armstrong both chipped in with 12 points.
In the evening match, Dubai Sharks were crushed 70-14 by Abu Dhabi Harlequins RL. Dougie Steele scored two tries and kicked nine goals for a personal haul of 26 points.
“It was a successful start to the UAE Nissan Cup season,” said RLEF Middle East Africa Director Remond Safi, who was present for the season launch. “With the enthusiasm of all four teams and the administration, I am confident we will see the game develop here and move forward in the right direction.”
Match 1 – Xodus Wasps RL v Al Ain Amblers RL – 5PM KO
Final Score FT 48 – 34 (HT 22-24)
Wasps Try Scorers (9 tries) – Michael Sole (3), Ed Armitage (2), Kenneth O Kane (1), James Cullen (2), George Cliffe
Conversions – Conor Armstrong (6/9)
Al Ain Try Scorers (6 tries) – Natuna Kiniviliane (2), FC Holdt, Nanu Niazi, Laladidi Sirilo, Renato Tikoisolomone
Conversions – FC Holdt (5/6)
Match 2 Dubai Sharks RL v Abu Dhabi Harlequins RL
Final Score FT 14 – 70 (HT 10-36)
Sharks Try Scorers (3 tries) – Chris Hobeiche, Ray Gilbert, Humam Alzaain
Conversions – Dan Crumplin (1/3)
Quins Try Scorers (13 tries) – Matthew Smith (3), William Umu (3), Scott Brodie (2), Dougie Steele (2), Iziq Foai, Ben Santamarina, Mac Chiwawa
Conversions – Dougie Steele (9/13)
The Nissan Cup final is on 15th May.