Dubai Exiles remain perfect while Dubai Tigers are turning expectations on their head


Dubai Exiles consolidated their position atop the West Asia Premiership table with a fourth straight win to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.
Meanwhile, it’s now two straight wins from four games for promoted Dubai Tigers who consigned Dubai Knights Eagles to a fifth straight defeat.
Exiles beat Jebel Ali Dragons 34-14 on the road, while Tigers earned a 27-16 victory over fellow Dubai Sports City dwellers Knights Eagles. Knights Eagles might have been eying this weekend as a game to earn points from the newly-promoted side, but former Italy international scrum-half Aaron Persico’s side have confounded expectations with a fine start to the campaign.
And evergreen flanker Jamie Clarke is just happy his side are defying some pre-season views that Tigers might be the league’s whipping boys.
“It was good to get another win under the belt even though we made it hard on ourselves,” said Clarke.
“I’m not sure about a title shift, we’re just positive that the boys are playing well and we are not being labelled the walkovers or the new addition that is seen as being an easy win.
“Off the field the club as a whole is in a really good place so things are all heading in the right direction.”
Exiles top the pile by two points, ahead of Bahrain who were on a bye week. After earning a contentious 31-0 bonus-point win the previous week after opponents Abu Dhabi Harlequins forfeited, Jacques Benade’s men eased to a 21-point win over champions two seasons ago, Dragons. View this post on Instagram Not often you see a Tiger getting chased by eagles, knights however maybe….. Mens captain @liamcaldwell44 on the breakaway in Friday’s game! 📸 from @thenationalsport @thenationaluae #dubaitigersrfc #breakaway #circleoflife A post shared by Dubai Tigers (@dubaitigersrfc) on Nov 10, 2019 at 1:37am PST “It’s a good win and we will take that, especially since it was at the Centre of Excellence,” said Exiles’ UAE Number 8 Jaen Botes.
“You just never know when you go down there and what they bring. Some of us were a bit frustrated how the game went as we couldn’t really take control of it. But we got the job done and at this moment that’s all that matters.”
Tigers and Exiles clash this Friday and Botes says he and his team-mates will look to continue the momentum.
“This weekend will be another challenge and we will need to be on form so we will look at the video and look to better ourselves,” added the South African.
“We just want to take each game as it comes and look to really start to gel as a club and squad. It’s been a positive start but we can’t take our foot off the pedal, it’s a long season and anything could happen.”
In the other game of the weekend, Dubai Hurricanes raised eyebrows as they condemned Quins to a second straight defeat, winning 40-22 at The Sevens.
West Asia Premiership results
Jebel Ali Dragons 13-34 Dubai Exiles
Dubai Knights Eagles 16-27 Dubai Tigers
Dubai Hurricanes 40-22 Abu Dhabi Harlequins Sport360

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