United Arab Emirates recorded their first win over Korea at the third attempt in Dubai on Sunday after coming back from 27-13 down at half-time to win 36-32.

Fly-half Jamie Gavin played a starring role with a ‘full house’ of a try, two conversions, three penalties and a drop goal as UAE bounced back from their 52-5 defeat to Hong Kong China in their opening match in the Asia Rugby Men’s Championship 2024.

His 21-point contribution was complemented by tries from scrum-half Andrew Semple, replacement front-row Moeneeb Gelant and blindside flanker Epeli Davetawalu.

Korea outscored UAE five tries to four and led for all but the first three minutes and the final 12 minutes of the second half.

Their tries came from winger Yongun Lee, full-back Jongeun Baeg, centres Jeongho Mun and Yeonsik Jeong and replacement back Jaejune Heo. Crucially, Seungjae Ko was only able to convert two of the tries in addition to his solitary penalty.

UAE were already at a record high of 60th going into the match but they have improved on that further, climbing three places to 57th as a result of the victory.

On the other hand, Korea have fallen three places to equal their lowest ever position of 33rd with Zimbabwe, Germany and Sweden all moving up a place.

The other Asia Rugby Men’s Championship match that took place this weekend ended in a routine 70-6 win for Hong Kong China against Malaysia.

Hong Kong China had won all 12 previous meetings against Malaysia and that record never looked like being tarnished once the match finally kicked off after a 30-minute delay because of lightning.

The win featured two tries apiece for Paul Altier and captain Joshua Hrstich and one on debut for replacement Calum Scott. Altier also kicked five conversions on a day when all nine tries – in addition to the penalty try awarded in the first half – were kicked from all angles.

Hong Kong China sit proudly on top of the Asia Rugby Men’s Championship table with a maximum 10 points and face a likely title decider with Korea in two weeks’ time.

With Hong Kong China 25 places higher than Malaysia and 14.66 points better off, the result did not have any impact on either team’s position in the rankings. Hong Kong China remain in 24th place, with Malaysia in 49th.

Outside of Asia, Barbados achieved their highest test score with a 93-7 win against St Lucia.

The first meeting between the teams in 13 years was competitive in the opening quarter but the Bajans ran away with the contest after that.

Barbados’ second big win in South Zone Round 1A of the Rugby Americas North Men’s Championship 2024 after last month’s 80-0 victory over St Vincent and the Grenadines and has led to them moving up the rankings by six places to 72nd. St Lucia, who were playing their first test since 2019, drop a place to 100th.