Posted on April 05, 2016

After eight weeks of exhilarating actions, which saw seven teams sweating it out against each other every Saturday at the Aspire Zone Warm-up and purpose built rugby track, the stage is set for the final showdown of the maiden Rugby Sevens League in Qatar.

Each team played a staggering 14 matches including two byes during the Qatar Rugby Federation’s (QRF) organised league which debuted on February 6. Overall, 84 matches were played in the build up to the finals with Camels 1 emerging top of the competition ladder with 56 standing points after maintaining an undefeated run throughout the contest. This result has automatically qualified them for the Cup finals. The competition amassed 594 points and conceded 17 throughout the two-month long challenge.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, QRF President Yousef al Kuwari said that the federation was impressed with the success recorded during the maiden edition of the league. “It has been a wonderful experience so far and I appreciate the commitments of everybody including the QOC, the sponsors led by Aspire and Woqod.  Players, officials and the media need to also be thanked. It has been an amazing two months of unquantifiable joy witnessing the sport getting wide acceptance in Qatar,” Kuwari said.

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The event was also attended by the QRF Secretary-General Ali al Malki , team Manager Eisa Al YaqoubHe added that the competition had gained recognition from different quarters including Asia Rugby, the governing body of rugby union in Asia.“QRF’s Rugby Sevens League is the first of its kind in Asia and we have received commendations from all over including Asia Rugby who have applauded the initiative. We have started small and we plan to grow bigger with time,” the QRF head said.

He added that the primary challenge facing the federation is having its own training facilities as well as its own dedicated field of play.“Though we’ve taken some giant strides within the short period of coming on board, one of our major priorities at the moment is getting our own training facilities as well as an exclusive rugby pitch. We are working in partnership with the QOC to achieve this and it would be resolved soon as we are receiving green lights in this direction,” Kuwari added.

He added that the federation is planning to ensure a much larger league which would see up to 14 teams participating as well as organizing some age-grade competitions before the end of the year. Speaking about the competition, QRF Senior Coordinator Samuel Rico said that the emergence of the league has brought great spotlight on the sport in Qatar. “The sevens league has aided in the development of the sport in the country with more people taken to the sport on a daily basis. We hope to make rugby one of the top four sports in Qatar within the shortest time possible and I believe we are on the right track,” he said.

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Giving the breakdown of the overall statistics from the competition, Rico said, “In all 287 tries were scored with 1498 points made by the teams. There was only one draw throughout the season between Camels 2 and the Hurricanes 17-17 in their first meet.” He added that two teams, Lions and Al Khor have the same standing points, 28 each, going into the final match-day. The fixture will start on Saturday with the quarter-finals between Hurricanes and Al Khor, while Camels 2 will lock horns with Lions.

The winners of these matches will meet each other in a playoff and for a chance to challenge the Camels 1 for the Cup. The losers will be relegated to the Plate finals while CAN-Q and the Blue Falcons have booked themselves the Bowls final. The Saturday finals fever will have many side attractions and prizes, including an award for the best picture of the finals. Gates open at 3pm.