South Africa and Australia ran out winners at the Emirates Dubai 7s this weekend as the men’s and women’s elite competitions drew in the big crowds at the Sevens Stadium once again following last year’s postponement.
While the international competitions were taking place on the stadium pitch, there was huge local interest in the youth rugby and netball events with lots of Dubai schools represented on the big stage.
In the Boys U19 tournament Dubai College, Dubai English Speaking College ‘A’ and JESS Blues came out on top in the pools with three wins from their group matches, while GEMS WSO and Repton also took part.
The WSO Falcons would eventually be crowned plate winners thanks to a 24-7 win over Al Ain Amblers, while DESC ‘A’ defeated Dubai College 36-14 in the cup final to take home the trophy.
In the Girls U19 rugby event, DESC ‘A’ made it all the way to the cup semi-finals in a very strong field before being edged out 19-12 by Dubai Exiles.
Over on the netball courts there were yet again lots of local schools involved in both Open Youth and Gulf Youth Aspire tournaments. The Open Youth competition saw Dubai College 1 top the pool ahead of teams from DESC, JESS and Jumeirah College.
It was an all-Dubai College semi-final as Team ‘1’ defeated Team ‘2’ 14-4, while DESC ‘1’ secured a narrow 8-6 victory over JESS Blues to progress to the final. It was Dubai College who came out on top in the end with an impressive 10-5 win to take home the trophy.
Dubai College captain Charlotte was delighted to help guide her team to victory at the weekend. With lots of work put in behind the scenes by players and coaches to prepare for the event she says the whole team were pleased to leave with the trophy.
“It’s still not sunk in that we won! Our main goal for the Sevens weekend was to put out a performance that
represented the hard work, time and dedication that not only we had put in, but our coaches as well.
“To come away with the trophy and to be undefeated in the tournament was an incredible outcome. I am so proud of what our team has achieved and now our focus is on putting out an even better performance in the DASSA league.”
Head coach Lucia Sdao was really happy to see the girls rewarded for their dedication over the last few months and hopes the win can provide further motivation for the squad as the year progresses.
“I’m delighted the girls performed – they have put in so many hours of skills training, S&C, performance analysis and preparation games, hard work does pay off!
“And all alongside their academics – anything is possible! I’m very proud of our DC netball programme, still a long way to go but it produced some great results for us this weekend.”
Teams from Dubai College, Capital Netball, DESC, Dubai Hurricanes, Repton, GEMS WSO and Dubai British School Jumeirah Park battled it out in the pool stage of the Gulf Youth Aspire tournament.
The cup semi-finals were very tightly contested, with only one goal separating the sides in both matches. Capital Netball overcame Dubai Hurricanes 9-8 while Dubai College ran out 12-11 winners against DESC to secure the school’s second cup final appearance of the weekend.
Like the semi-finals, the cup final was decided by one goal with Capital Netball defeating Dubai College 7-6 to be crowned Gulf Youth Aspire netball champions at Dubai 7s.
Away from the playing field, schools from across Dubai were involved in the build up to the big event and across the weekend itself as spectators, hosts and volunteers, with many of the international sides basing themselves at schools across the city last week.
80 of Repton Dubai’s students were involved throughout the tournament weekend as ball boys and girls, playing an important role in the smooth running of the spectacle which attracted thousands of spectators.
With some of the best school sports facilities anywhere in the world, Dubai’s school community was yet again central to the preparations of some of the globe’s brightest rugby stars.
A huge well done to everyone who took part in a very successful Dubai 7s event – whether you were taking part as an athlete, coaching, volunteering and spectating you made a difference to the weekend. We are delighted to see Dubai 7s back to its best after a couple of years without the event.