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Abu Dhabi Harlequins coach Jeremy Manning said crucial mistakes cost his team the Men’s Gulf League at the Dubai Sevens on Saturday.

The Dragons’ first-minute try came from a misplaced pass which went over the sideline on the Quins 22. The club captain Taif Al Delamie was able to scramble a try from the resulting line-out.

Later in the game, Murray Strang and Andrew Russell took advantage of loose play by the Quins for the second and third tries respectively.

Strang intercepted a wayward pass on the Dragons 22 to run the length of the field to touch down under the posts, while Russell was allowed to make a clean break inside his own half through the Quins back division.

Manning said: “It’s no secret in sevens that if you hold onto the ball, you win games. We gave the ball away twice and they scored two tries from them so I guess it’s one of those clichés in rugby, ‘If you hold onto the ball, you win games’.

“You could see this in the international game, Fiji and New Zealand. The Fijians dominated possession from the kick-off and they scored a lot of points.”

Manning wasn’t fit to play in the final. Having tweaked his hamstring at the Eden Park Sevens tournament in Al Ain the weekend before, he pulled it in their final group game against Dubai Hurricanes 2 on Friday evening.

His speedy winger Chris Marshall, who touched down three times in the second half against the Canes – was also unavailable for the final with a quad muscle injury.

Manning added: “I was gutted I couldn’t partake at all on the final day, but I thought the boys played very well throughout the tournament.

"We had a very hard semi-final against the Al Ain Amblers which we came through with a 20-19 win. I’m proud of the boys the way they went about their work, though –they worked so hard.”

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