Vice-captain, Brooke Tremayne spearheaded a remarkable 40-14 victory for Doha on Friday night over the visiting Navy team at the Doha Rugby Football Centre.
The hosts, who narrowly lost to CH & FC 17-15 two weeks ago, led 19-9, at half time thanks to two early brilliant tries from full back Pita Tuliaga and one to workhorse Wade Lotter. Tremayne landed two goals from three to give his side a 10 point buffer at the break.
Not to be written off the Navy opened the second half with much vigor, courage and aggression. When Mushin Faleel’s try was converted by the radar boots of Thilina Weerasingha’ – it not only trimmed the score line to 19-14 but awakened the Lankan crowds and their supporting band.
The fight back, however, proved to be fruitless with Doha firing back in an explosive fashion scoring three converted tries and 21 unanswered points. Tremayne led the onslaught with a diving try under the sticks before replacements Bader Bakaddouri and Ravisi Lasaqa crossed over giving the inside centre two stress-free conversions and a personal tally of 22 points for the evening.
Speaking after the match Tremayne said, “It’s a great turn around for our club from a few weeks back. Our plan was to hold onto the ball and go forward and we executed that effectively”.
“It certainly wasn’t easy. The score is not a reflection of the game. Navy was extremely tough and they drove at us all night. They are super fit and made us work for our points”.
While Doha never looked in trouble they did enjoy the rub of the green together with some contentious refereeing decisions in their favour.
Reflecting on the game dissatisfied Navy Coach, Mothilal Jayathilake said, “Am I disappointed? Yes not about the loss but the refereeing decisions that were against us, I not happy with that.”
“It was a very good experience; Doha was very strong and it was not what we excepted. It was a totally different side that played against CH and their high profile Fijians caused us many problems”.
“As for my team, I was happy with our boys they defended very well and it wasn’t until the last quarter that the game was turned”.
Though Navy was at times rapid in attack and impervious in defence, when pushed to the end, they lacked concentration at crucial moments and their failure to turn pressure into points was a frustrating factor. Missed tackles, spilled balls, unwarranted penalties and needless off loads were all part of a bad night the team and the Lanka supporters would rather forget.
The Navy team will head back to Sri Lanka on Sunday in readiness for their first Dialog League clash against the Police Sports Club on Nov 9, while Doha have a hard week of training in preparation for Gulf Conference Match against Muscat on Nov 15.