Champions hope to outsmart Desert Foxes
Cudas’ title defence got off to the worst possible start on November 25 when the Abu Dhabi Wildcats’ power running game saw them gain revenge for last term’s Desert Bowl defeat with a 28-12 thrashing.
They next meet the much-improved outfit from the Garden City, who only lost 7-0 to Dubai Stallions on opening day.
For Jordan, he was concentrating on fixing the errors which blighted the preceding reversal rather than being worried about living up to their reputation as title holders.
“That is not as much of a concern, it’s mainly about fixing the things that we struggled with two weeks ago,” he replied. “We have a few players back and we want the guys to gain more experience and be ready to play ball.
“We need to get our running game going and with our throw game, we’ve got to make sure receivers are getting open and quarterbacks are hitting those targets. But all that starts with the line up front.”
The Wildcats controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball to hand the champions their first loss since the 2015 Desert Bowl.
Jordan warned his troops they would face the same fate at The Sevens if they did not concentrate on this area.
He said: “Watching the film, they have some really good players. They’ve got a line and can move people around, so that was a problem that we had with the Wildcats.
“It will be a good test for us to get back out there. Their running backs run hard also, so we’ll have our work cut out.”
Meanwhile, Dubai Stallions coach Brett Turek has called on his side to be more ruthless in the red zone.
The Stallions edged past Al Ain when wide receiver Suliman Gaouda hauled in a 26-yard touchdown from quarterback Kelly Susee in the third quarter. This came despite several scoring opportunities at Dubai Sports City.
“We didn’t do as well as I wanted us to,” said Turek, who was previously assistant coach at Cudas. “We were in the red zone four times and only came away with seven points.
“We got the win, but it wasn’t what I wanted.
“A lot of our mistakes were mental mistakes. Hopefully, the silly stuff will all be cleaned up.”
After this round, the EAFL will next be played on January 13, 2017.
by Matt Monaghan
7th December 2016