Reigning champions Bahrain will seek to continue their unbeaten run in the 2022-23 West Asia Premiership when they take on the Jebel Ali Dragons at the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence in Dubai this evening.
Perched on top of the five-team table with 22 points from their five wins on the trot, Bahrain are seven points clear of second-placed Dubai Tigers.
The Tigers have 15 points from four games and will be playing their fifth at the same time at Dubai Sports City against the Abu Dhabi Harlequins, who are currently in last place with just four points.
Bahrain are also seeking a hat-trick of championship triumphs, having won the last two editions of the competition, the last of which was held in the 2019-20 season before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
“This is another tough away game for us,” Bahrain Rugby Football Club (BRFC) chairman, Mike Cunningham told the GDN by phone from Dubai.
“The boys have been preparing really well this week. They know it’s going to be a challenge and they know how important it is that we keep the momentum we’ve got. We’ve won five games now out of five and we have to keep it going.”
Bahrain began the season by defeating the Dubai Exiles, 28-26, in Dubai before hammering the Harlequins, 39-15, in Abu Dhabi and romping to a 34-10 win over the Dragons at home in Bahrain in November.
Then, in early January, they beat the formidable Tigers, 25-14, in Dubai before hammering the hapless Harlequins again, 22-8, before an ecstatic home crowd at the BRFC last week.
The Tigers, meanwhile, racked up three consecutive wins in their first three games, brushing aside the Dragons, the Exiles and the Harlequins before suffering their only defeat of the season so far against Bahrain.
“We have to stay ahead of the Tigers,” Cunningham said. “They are still a strong team, they’re still doing well and we are looking forward to the last game of the season against them next month.
“But, at the moment, it’s a case of taking it one game at a time, to play it as we see it, play it as it comes.
“So our focus is on the Dragons and winning this game.”
The match starts at 5pm, Bahrain time.