Alligators no match for Stompers

A review of last weekends rugby matches

7 February 2012, 12:00am
Stompers were in fine form against Alligators. Photo Ray Attard
Stompers were in fine form against Alligators. Photo Ray Attard
It seems that, thanks to the new club facilities at Birkirkara and a positive contribution from the MRFU Community Coaches the long awaited rejuvenation of Alligators begun in earnest so the expected run away win for Stompers was never on the cards.

Stompers started promisingly and early sweeping attacks looked dangerous. However too many of their players are not looking at the positioning of the opposition and thinking only of crossing the gain line, which leads to selfish running. Gatt was the first of many to ignore the speedy Pavanello when he had a clear run. The Stompers pack were held in the set pieces but established a definite advantage by swarming the rucks. Repeatedly Stompers players made promising breaks without connecting with support to finish things off. Gators helped them by incurring far too many penalties in the loose which enabled Stompers to kick into attacking positions. From yet another penalty deep in the Gators half, Cerketa came on an angled burst to carry three defenders over the line for the first score, converted by Attard. Shortly after, Attard also kicked a goal from yet another silly penalty error by Gators.

The move of Luke Debattista to Stompers centre seems to be working but he needs to develope a little more sophisticated subtlety and awareness of surrounding movements. On the whole the Gators defence was good and their drifting positioning was effective against the lack of variety in Stompers crash ball style. However a gap was produced by multiple recycling and Cammillieri burst through the middle and two poor tackles to score, again converted by Attard.

Crisp flat passing from Stompers created an overlap but Camillieri failed to pass to Pavanello. This was followed by Attard wasting a four man overlap on the right. A tactical kick put Stompers up to the Gators line and eventually the forwards drove over for anothet try.

Gators came back. A wide swerving run by Mumpi released Borg, but Pavanello was too fast and cut him down. Mumpi Vella and Galea were adding energy and penetration to the Gators and the forwards were making hard driving runs. After determined recycling they drove to the line and Galea dived in for a try, well converted by Briffa. So the half ended at 22-7 to Stompers.

Gators restarted vigourously, swept onto the attack but Briffa missed a penalty opportunity. Nevertheless they were enjoying territorial advantage and soon Briffa succeeded in converting a penalty. From this moment on the excahanges were even and play flowed from end to end. Debattista and Gatt enjoyed a stirring run of power and interpassing until they gave away a penalty. Many of Stompers attacks broke down through over eager carelessness and selfish running . Gators Mumpi was frustrated when he picked uo a Stompers drop but was whistled back for a scrum, and despite their enthusiastic pressure  Gators just did not have the extra pace to get through the Stompers defence. Stompers Alexander kicked through a dropped pass but desperate cover cleared although giving away a five yard scrum. From the scrum Max Galea dived over for a try.

Gators drove back up the field and spent time attacking but the final move evaded them ., so Stompers defence held out, despite some weak clearances.

A cheeky side footed chip into the corner by Briffa nearly led to a try for Gators but yet agin over eagerness frustrated the efforts.

It is worth noting that Stompers only won the second half by 5-3, so it is obvious that standards are evening out and the Rugby Union Cisk Lager League is becoming very competitive.

Other results
Saturday 4th February 2011   

Mediterranean Bank Senior Mens Cup   
B/Kara Alligators 10 v Stompers    27
Kavallier 31  v  Valletta 12

Mens 10s Development                    
Overseas 22 v B'Kara Alligators 29
Gladiators 29 v Overseas 41

Malta International Airport Ladies 10s Cup   
Falcons 15 v Overseas 0
Kavallieri 15 v B'Kara Alligators 0