Cisk Lager League
It was an intense game played down at Marsa in this Cisk Lager League game between the two top teams in the competition.
Both teams wanted to win and played with a passion and pace, that at times was breathtaking, as play swept from one end of the field to the other. Stompers finally wore down Overseas, with the work rate of Richard Gum(10) and Max Galea(9) probably the difference, as it was they who determined the direction and pace of the Stompers attack.
The Stomper’s forwards played their part and none more so than Carmine Fabrizio(1) who scored two tries in the first half, although in the second half he went from hero to zero, as he was sin binned for 10 minutes for an altercation.
Visiting Referee Kieran Henry from the Manchester Referee’s Society, controlled the game well, letting play flow and his man management was excellent.
Overseas took the game to Stompers with their big forwards Harvey(3), Stoker(1) and Hammond(8) charging into the fray, but frustratingly for their team, the final pass would go to ground or a Stomper’s turnover in the tackle as they inched towards the line, would turn the tide.
Fabrizio scored in the 2nd minute of the game an unconverted try followed by Matt Camilleri(12) bashing his way over near the posts, after Stompers had laid siege to the Oversea’s tryline. Gum(10) converted that try to make it Stompers 12, Overseas 0.
Overseas had all the territory but just could not finish off any phases as they got close to the tryline.
Stompers were feeding off the Overseas mistakes and running any penalties back at them. Overseas were not committing enough players to the tackle area and looked indecisive when the ball went out to the backs. Luke Galea(7) was hyper active taking the ball over and over and trying to run it through the inside channel, but the likes of Gary Hili(8), Nicky Maylor(7) and Keith Azzopardi(6) would be waiting for him and the momentum would be lost as he was driven backwards.
Rhodri McKenzie(13) finally scored for Overseas stepping around his marker and in towards the posts to make the conversion easier for Aiden Grech(10). With the score now Stompers 12, Overseas 7, it looked like Overseas had found their feet at last.
But back came Stompers, immediately running wide down the touchline, going through the phases as they got close to the line and Fabrizio scored again from close, for Gum to convert, making the half time score 19 to 7.
As the second half started with Overseas now playing with the wind, the conjecture was that they needed to score quickly to get back into the game, which they duly did, scoring two quick tries to McKenzie, again showing his step and pace and Harvey showing his strength close to the line dragging two defenders with him as he crashed over, which with Grech’s conversion drew them level at 19 all.
With Fabrizio’s yellow card it seemed there would be a momentum shift, as the Overseas boys now had a spring in their step.
But you write Stompers off at your peril and they lifted their game, even though a man down, they scored again with Dragan Cerketta(5) charging at the line like a bull, then with Gum’s conversion taking the lead to 26 to 19.
Two more tries, one from Mathew Alexander(14) using his speed and the other by Nicky Maylor(7) just back from a long injury running good support lines, to take the score out to 38 to 19 and into the comfort zone.
Overseas kept attacking but again were thwarted with dropped balls and indecision, Harvey scored his second try to give Overseas some hope again, but they ran out of time, as first Max Galea was yellow carded and then with Referee Kieran Henry blowing for full time.
Man of the Match: Stompers Richard Gum(10). Overseas: Rhodri McKenzie(13).
Referee: Kieran Henry. Assistant Referees: Lionel Da Silva, Sam Ramage.
Author: Bryan Corlett