Kazakhstan v United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi (Asia5Nations)
Venue: Zayed Sports City
Oh how one result can put pressure on teams. Both The Emirates and Kazakhstan are under enormous pressure following their opening games last weekend. Both sides desperately need points to distance themselves from the prospect of relegation.
Kazakhstan fielded, I understand, a young side without their Russia-based professionals. Also a number of older players retired following last year’s Rugby World Cup qualifier against Uruguay. So Kazakhstan is in a rebuilding phase. This is a young side that will struggle in this tournament especially if the Russian-based players are unavailable.
The Emirates side is also rebuilding after the dissolving of the Arabian Gulf RU last year. This is also a new side with inexperienced players. They have the advantage of a home game, this being The Emirates first home test. They can expect plenty of support.
Kazakhstan hosted and lost to Hong Kong last weekend. Image thanks to http://www.sports.kz
United Arab Emirates drew with Sri Lanka last weekend. Image thanks to www.thenational.ae
The Emirates is virtually the Arabian Gulf Side, give and take a few players, so, as a comparison, we’ll see how Kazakhstan fared against the AG in the past
24.04.2010 Kazakhstan 43-28 in Almaty (Asia5Nations)
24.05.2008 Kazakhstan 56-27 in Taldy Korgan (Asia Five Nations Cup)
11.05.2007 Kazakhstan 49-9 in Doha (Asia Nations Div.2)
30.10.2004 Kazakhstan 19-9 in Hong Kong (19th Asia Champ.,Pool B Playoff)
09.04.2004 Arabian Gulf 14-13 in Doha (Asia Tournament)
Kazakhstan dominated this series over the last 3-4 years in high-scoring encounters.
GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table-Kazakhstan 3rd, United Arab Emirates 5th.
IRB Ranking Points do not apply.
Prediction: United Emirates by 7 points
United Arab Emirates
15 Tim Fletcher (Dubai Dragons)
14. Sean Hurley (Dubai Dragons)
13. John Beeton (Dubai Exiles)
12. Duncan Murray (Dubai Hurricanes)
11. Steve Smith (Dubai Hurricanes)
10. Jonathan Grady (Dubai Dragons)
9. Stuart Quinn (Dubai Exiles)
8. Scott Kerr (Dubai Dragons)
7.Carl Von Rosenveldt (Dubai Exiles)
6. Renier Els (Abu Dhabi Harlequins)
5. Simon Osbourne (Dubai Hurricanes)
4. Mike Cox-Hill (capt) (Dubai Exiles)
3. Dan Boatwright (Dubai Hurricanes)
2. Dan Heal (Dubai Dragons)
1. Chris Jones Griffiths (Abu Dhabi Harlequins)
Andrew Millar (Dubai Dragons)
David Vittes (Dubai Exiles)
Lloyd Budd (Dubai Exiles)
Ali Mohammed (Dubai Wasps)
Michael Riley (Dubai Exiles)
Head Coach: Bruce Birtwistle
Kazakhstan Squad not available