Now, if you've been a reader of this blog for some time - you may have noticed I support the rugby club here. MRFC in the last 4 seasons have struggled through monumental problems that would have left those less determined wrapping things up. Take the old Muscat Softball League that was based at the two diamonds on ROP land out near the Oman Automobile Club in Ghala - that suffered from dwindling numbers and ultimately ceased to exist 2 or 3 years ago.
The rugby club was closed down, then reopened a year and a bit later and never really became as popular as it had been before, and the appointed manager (the same guy who runs Feeny's) did not seem in the least bit interested in actually doing his job and regularly told patrons to fuck off, until he was, finally, told to fuck off himself. And so it was a sad day last year on May 31st when the clubhouse closed it's doors for the very last time.
The rugby team, in these last few years has not done very well either - the rise of semi-pro players being brought in to UAE teams, the elitism that the UAE has tried to (and fairly successfully) impose on the rest of the GCC rugby clubs (and pissing everyone off) and what can only be described as low team numbers and morale had left MRFC the whipping boys of the GCC tournaments.
Until this year, when we got serious. A new fitness coach drilling people to vomit and then carry on through the summer in 45'C heat, a new Forwards coach with years of experience and tips to hand out to people in technical positions and a new Backs coach that brought an entire new level of organization to the team. Coupled with a new Chairman, team manager and new sponsors (Grand Hyatt, DHL, i2 Offshore, Lufkin, AIL, Aggreko) injecting much needed funds and support into the team.
Also, a partnership with the PDO Pirates (to create the Muscat Pirates) to form the now hugely popular rugby youth section is handling up to 150 kids a week on Sundays between 5 and 6:30 has helped spread the word about MRFC here in Muscat.
This year, MRFC have lost one away fixture (in Kuwait) and are currently tied first place in the Gulf Conference league, the last game of which is this Thursday night in Al Ain. MRFC are in a strong position to take victory of this league and move on to the Gulf Premiership league which starts next month. To that end, there is a bus driving to Al Ain, leaving this Thursday morning at the Al Fair in MQ at 10:30am - the game kicks off in Al Ain at the Palm Sports Resort at 7:30pm. There are group-rates available at the Hilton in Al Ain (approximately RO 22 per person on a 2 to a room basis). Not that I expect many of you reading this to actually go and support, I just felt it was important to promote a Muscat-based team that is poised to win the Gulf Conference league which is something I'd like to think people would be pleased to hear about.
MRFC has a website here, and a facebook group here.