Wasps vs Harlequins: In Abu Dhabi

31 01 2011

Wasps 13-38 Harlequins

A more precise and experienced Harlequins side comfortably beat a messy and young Wasps team at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi last night. Due to a lack of organization by your correspondent, we are sadly unable to offer any photos of what was surely a unique and certainly a stunning visual occasion – the majestic Emirates Palace Hotel rising up behind the grand stand.

This though was the only majestic thing about the game as the rugby itself left a great deal to be desired with Wasps in particular showcasing some sloppy and careless play. With the rugby rarely hitting the heights, the crowd failed to get into it and the whole affair had the feeling of a training run or trial match.

There was always a suspicion that holding the rugby match in the Middle East (and this probably goes for most other non UK locations too) wouldn’t work in any other way than a financial point of view. Unfortunately for the organizers this fear was born out as a non partisan crowd watched the game with little few cheers or singing that you would normally expect, thereby ensuring that although it was fun, the atmosphere failed to be excite.

By removing a game from the clubs diehard supporters and presenting it to a lower number of relatively neutral supporters, inevitably the atmosphere suffered and it is likely that this apathy possibly even infected the players.

To be fair to both sides however the intent was clearly there and some of the tackling ferocious. When you are watching on TV or even high up in the stands of Twickenham the sound from the collisions of body on body can be lost, yet, down by the side of the pitch as we were, it was only too apparent. There were some enormous hits coming in from both sides back rows and in the centres, with the Wasps number 8 particularly standing out in this regard.

Quins were the better side throughout and scored two excellently worked tries along with a couple of soft ones although they too were affected by the handling malaise in the second half. These succession of errors from both sides ensured what had been a reasonably fluid game in the first forty minutes turned into an error fest in the second period with the Wasp’s backline particularly guilty.

So while this may seem an overly critical piece – it was after all great fun and we are very pleased they did come out to the Middle East – from a rugby point of view it wasn’t a great exhibition – either of the reasoning behind the event or the rugby in it.

Finally, we can confirm, Lawrence Dallaglio has a very firm handshake and despite being disturbed in a meeting, is a thoroughly polite chap!

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2 responses

1 02 2011
George Buck

Trevor Leota can also neck booze at a pehnomenal rate.

1 02 2011
Bradders

The voice of experience!

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