Cisk Lager League
Stompers Re/Max: 19
This was an Overseas team that we haven’t seen all season, they were fired up and playing with passion, tackling like demons and playing with intent.
They pushed Stompers throughout this Cisk Lager League game and it took the Sliema boys until the last minute of the first half to get their noses in front.
A Man of the Match performance from their second rower Paolo Zanin with three tries, lifted Stompers at crucial times in the game, as Overseas kept them under constant pressure.
It was Overseas that scored first after several phases of play giving Theo Briffa(13) front foot ball, so he could steamroll his opposite number to score. The Aidan Grech(10) conversion put them in the lead at 7 to 0, midway through the first half and Overseas looked confident.
Stompers raised the speed of their game, trying to outflank the Oversea’s defence, but some solid tackling by Briffa and Duberne(8) and their fellow forwards thwarted the danger.
Richard Gum at flyhalf was his usual elusive self, but he would beat the first tackle only to be slammed by the cover defence.
Zanin had scored his first try running out in the backs, shrugging off a tackle and going 15 metres to score and his second by receiving the ball from a tap penalty close to the line and powering his way over.
The half time score was 12 to 7 with just one of Zanin’s tries converted by Gum.
With the wind now behind them in the second half, it seemed it was Overseas’ game to win, they played for territory with long kicks into the corner, but couldn’t convert the territory into points. One try was disallowed for a knock on close to the try line, after Overseas had stolen the Stompers ball way back in their 22, Aidan Grech kicked long with Daniel Gauci(11) chasing it down only to knock on with the line begging and then poor passes also let them down in other passages of play.
At the midway point of the half, after several line breaks by Stoker(1), Debart(9) and Duberne(8) which had all fizzled out due to a lack of support, Stompers worked their way upfield to allow Zanin to score his hat trick crashing over out wide, the Gum conversion went straight down the middle putting them into the comfort zone, knowing that now Overseas would need to score twice to beat them.
Overseas were a frustrated side as they saw the game slipping away from them and indiscipline crept into their game with Stoker(1) finally being Red Carded by Referee Sam Ramage for constant dissent and back chatting, after a decision by the Referee went against him.
The final score was Stompers: 19, Overseas 7.
Man of the Match: Stompers Paolo Zanin(4), Overseas: Theo Briffa(13)
Referee: Sam Ramage
Author: Bryan Corlett