Stompers crush Valletta

Despite the comprehensive drubbing Valletta continued to show improvement and should not be downhearted even though they lost 57-3.

4 April 2011, 12:00am
Mike Turner

They lacked the two best attackers, Pavanello and Borg and had several players playing in new positions. Brincat looked very promising at scrum half and then fly half.

However they were no real match for the rampant running Stompers style on the dry, hard ground.

The first try came when a Valletta player was off the pitch changing his boots when Attard scored the first of his 27 points on the day. In some ways Valletta have a better structure shape to deal with the attacks, but in this game they left huge gaps around the scrums, which Stompers exploited consistently, to launch attack after attack and draw the cover.

A series of sweeping passing moves by Stompers culminated in a huge dummy and run over by Brookes. Another try by Attard followed.

Valletta hit back with a well taken penalty by Psaila after Vella dropped the kick off and a team mate picked up from offside.

Next try was scored by Billson after the number 8 broke off the back of the scrum and created another gap.

Valletta enjoyed a long period of attacking in the Stompers half, but despite coming close, the passing of the make shift back line was too slow and too easy to anticipate so the Stompers defence kept them at bay.

Strangely, many of the big strong Valletta forwards are easy to stop by determined low tackling because their body posture is too upright. If the learned to lean in and drop their shoulder they would be much harder to stop. Some good specific coaching is needed.

The half finished at 33- 3.

The second half began as before, with Valletta gaining territory and then Stompers scoring two quick tries with sweeping runs, offloads and their lovely trademark passing.

Sullivan and Galea came on for Stompers and both immediately injected more oomph into the running attacks launched from deep in their own half. Valletta camped close to the line for a lengthy period but were too disorganized to make the final penetration. This was finally wasted by three penalties for not releasing the ball at the ruck.

Stompers Brooks was running wild with dummies and swerves and Valletta were missing their tackles. A tackling coach is required because though full of courage, they hesitate because of lack of confidence – a defender should impose his determination on the attacking player, not allow him to feel confident. As their confidence fell so the Stompers felt happy to launch a continuing series of rhythmic attacks, through a hesitant defence.

For Stompers Attard scored 27 points, Alexander 10, Brookes 10, delia and Willis 5 each.

Stompers have lost the Cisk League now and so can concentrate on winning the Med Bank Cup against Overseas. The Cisk League will be settled between leaders Kavallieri and Overseas, as the ground hardens to suit fast running play.