Bahrain Rugby Football Club’s first XV finished off the West Asia Premiership round robin stage with another bonus point win on home soil yesterday afternoon, as they earned a 24-10 victory over Dubai Hurricanes at Saar.
Tries from Callum Roberts, Jack Phillips and a brace from Joel Lewis was enough to secure a hard-earned win for the home side but they certainly didn’t have things all their own way as the Hurricanes turned up to play, despite only having an outside chance for a place in the end-of-season play-offs.
Indeed the ‘Canes’ defence put in an impressive shift in what was a tightly-contested first half and, along an unexpected light rain and an unfortunate run of early injuries, meant the Bahrain attack struggled to get going.
The deadlock was eventually broken when Roberts found his way to the tryline – despite calls that he had actually come up short – and Leon Mauer’s conversion made it 7-0 but that was to be the only score of the opening half.
Such was the injury report during that first period that Bahrain began the second with Lewis on one wing, recalled veteran scrum-half Rich Ryan on the other and Tommy Booth at number, with Rhys Fitzgerald and Mauer having also spent time on the sidelines receiving treatment.
Lewis in particular made the most of his early introduction, as he burst over for his first try down the right flank after some great build-up play.
Mauer hit the post with the conversion but redeemed himself soon after when adding the extras to a fantastic solo effort from Jack Phillips, who gathered his own chip kick to touch down under the posts to give Bahrain some breathing space.
To their credit, the Hurricanes continued to fight for everything and it took a while for Bahrain to register the four-try bonus point – Lewis touching down in the opposite corner this time – and their efforts were rewarded with two late tries of their own.