Cisk Lager League Day 1
By Bryan Corlett
In a game that looked like at first the Ray Elliot Cup winners Stompers, would run away with, Kavallieri after a while started to play with confidence and competed throughout the 80 minutes.
The score swung to and fro throughout the second half, but in the first half Stompers played all the Rugby, but were only up by 10 to 5 at the break.
Within twenty minutes Stompers had scored two tries out wide, with Richard Gum(10) controlling the tempo of the game with his quick distribution and running into gaps. He scored in the corner after a series of defensive penalties against Kavallieri, then from another quick tap penalty Cerketta(1) took the ball to the line and offloaded for John Ellul(3) to score in the corner.
Prior to that Kavallieri’s Zak Borg(1) had broken clear down the touchline only for the movement to fizzle out due to a lack of support. Then Sammy Kawara(15) had put in a great tackle on Gum as he headed for the corner to score.
Kavallieri were feeding off scraps trying to stay in the game, as Stompers mounted a series of phases into Kavallieri territory, a big tackle and turnover by Toderika(13) kept them at bay.
In the closing minutes of the first half Ousman Konate(8) scored to bring Kavallieri back into the game, but the lead up work was done by Joseph Cutajar(12) putting a penalty into the corner, then he went into the lineout to take the throw in, that then set up the pick and goes for Konate’s try.
Within minutes of the second half, a bit of brilliance by Kyle Charlton(10) put Kavallieri in front, he caught a weak touchfinder from a penalty by Gum, spun the ball wide, then took the inside pass, chipped over the onrushing Stomper’s defence, the ball bounced kindly for him to run onto and around under the posts for an easy conversion by Cutajar(12) to make it 12 points to 10, to the men in black.
Stompers hit back, going through a few phases on attack, for Matt Camilleri(13) to swerve back inside and score near the posts, Gum converted and they were back in the lead at 17 to 12.
A well worked back line move by Kavallieri took the lead again, the ball was spun wide and Lloyd Miriphiri(2) looped around his winger and up the touchline to outrun the covering defence to score taking back the lead, with Cutajar’s conversion at 19 to 17.
Referee Sean Doublesin sent a few players to the sin bin for their indiscretions, to keep control of the game.
Kavallieri were throwing everything at Stompers competing at the breakdown and putting in some big tackles which won them a penalty, Cutajar stepped up and drilled it, making it 22 to 17.
But Stompers were not done with and upped the tempo of the game with their big forwards, Zanin(8) Cerketta(1) Micallef(4) and Ellul(3) getting them close, after Kavallieri had dropped the restart.
Then from an attacking ruck on the 5 metre line, young scrumhalf Mayr Ibb dived over to win it for Stompers with the conversion by Gum, Stompers 24, Kavallieri 22.
Kavallieri introduced a few new players into their team and credit must go to them for a competitive game, both teams were guilty of poor decisions, passes and catching, but the will to win was always there!
Coach’s Man of the Match,
Stompers: Mayr Ibb(23)
Kavallieri: Terence Grech(3)
Referee: Sean Doublesin.
Touch Judges: Gordon McHarg, Sean Xuereb