Historic first Test win for Qatar in A5N

(IRB.COM) Thursday 12 May 2011
 Historic first Test win for Qatar in A5N
Paul Beard scored Qatar's first points in Test rugby

Qatar became the second Union in as many weeks to claim a maiden Test victory in the HSBC Asian 5 Nations 2011 after beating Division IV top seeds Jordan 26-8 at 7he Sevens in Dubai to set up a title decider with Lebanon on Friday.

Following in the footsteps of the United Arab Emirates, who shocked Kazakhstan 24-10 in the Top 5 on 29 April, Qatar’s historic first win came in their very first Test match and will help to “put us on the map as a rugby team” according to wing Abdul Kareem Al Muhannady.

Qatar led 11-0 at the break with former Arabian Gulf fly half Paul Beard having the honour of scoring the nation’s first points in international rugby with a penalty and hooker Shane Kelly the first try. The advantage grew to 21-0 with Gavin Pier also touching down, before Nidal Zyadat’s try and a Jamal Masri penalty got Jordan on the scoreboard.

There was to be no way back though with Kelly scoring his second try of the match to seal a victory which coach Aaron Palmer believes “can only be good for rugby in Qatar. We scored three tries today so you have to be happy with that. It was a physical match, I think maybe more physical than the other semi final and our guys are sore.

“But a year ago we weren’t even a rugby nation and today we are in the finals. We have come this far and we are going to keep going.”

Leading by example

Al Muhannady added: “It was special to play for Qatar. It was my first cap and I had a good game. As this is the first national 15s rugby team I am very glad that we won this game. I want to put us on the map as a rugby team.”

The Division IV final will be played as a curtain raiser to the Top 5 encounter between the United Arab Emirates and three-time defending champions Japan at 7he Sevens, which kicks off at 20:00 local time.

Lebanon came through the first semi final thanks in no small part to a stellar performance by their captain and fly half Karim Jammal, who contributed all bar 10 of his side’s points in the 34-15 victory over second seeds Uzbekistan.

Jammal, a former England Schoolboy at Under 16 level, kicked two penalties and converted cetnre Jad Elhashem’s try as Lebanon established a 13-0 lead, before prop Sergey Komarin touched down to keep Uzbekistan in touch at half time.

Feruz Sokhibov reduced the deficit with a penalty before the two sides traded tries though Jammal and Nordibek Abduvaitov to make it 20-15. However, any hopes of an Uzbekistan comeback were ended with tries by Jammal and Ziad Elmurr touching down.