UAE to go out with a bang in Asian Five Nations clash with South Korea
UAE captain Alistair Thompson is calling for one last mammoth effort as the national side look to sign off their Asian Five Nations campaign in style against South Korea this weekend.
Thompson and Co will certainly have their work cut out travelling to Seoul to take down the tournament surprise package, who are eyeing a second-place finish after stunning Hong Kong earlier this month.
However, after surviving their relegation shootout with Kazakhstan two weeks ago the local lads depart tonight with a spring in their step and are targeting an upset of their own on Saturday.
“It’s a long off-season and I think it’s a case of emptying the tanks,” the imposing No.8 said. “Each game we’ve played together there’s more cohesion and we’re hoping we can continue that and have a real blowout. With it being the last game we’ve got nothing lose.”
After two demoralising defeats to Hong Kong and Japan, Thompson admitted the 46-31 breakthrough over the Kazakhs came as a huge relief to his developing side.
And having had a bye last week, the Abu Dhabi Harlequins stalwart has been blown away with the attitude shown towards their season finale.
“We’ve put a number of extra sessions in and these are sessions that have been called by the players, not the coaching staff,” the skipper said. “We’re not in this to make up the numbers, everybody wants to get out of it as much as possible, but we know that you only get out of things what you put into them.”
On the Koreans, Thompson is expecting a similar
fast-pace, expansive style to Japan. But he added: “We’ve got to get our defence right, we know that they’re going to play wide and we’ve got to make sure our defenders are in the space in those areas to stop them.”