Stompers stun Kavallieri to halt their triumphant march

A fascinating and spectacular match played in perfect conditions saw Stompers return to the winning form of last season. From the kick off Stompers played with concentrated fire, winning rucks and mauls and recycling from the breakdowns

15 February 2014, 12:00am
Photo by Ray Attard
Photo by Ray Attard

Mike Turner

On the contrary Kavallieri looked sluggish and slow in thought despite the return of the experienced Edmunds at fly half. However Kavallieri definitely hd the advantage at the set pieces and lineouts. It was interesting to see how hard a time Zammit gave Stompers international Cerketa in the set scrums. However overall Stompers enjoyed territorial advantage.

Stompers set the pace with a determination to stretch the Kavallieri with their fast moving backline, although some of the passing was not crisp, it worked well enough and the first try by Ed Attard, who was tough enough to beat three covering tacklers, converted by Malcolm Attard from the touch line. The next try was by Ellul after another series of attacks, but Attard missed a much easier kick. Next was the superb Spanish full back Chermaine, who is seriously fast and balanced, McLister missed an easy conversion.

Galea's long, low, fast passes from scrum half gave Stompers a considerable advantage, and Kavallieri lost Cutajar to a pulled hamstring. A poor catch by Alexander gave the ball away to the ever hungry Kavallieri, Debierre, but he turned and caught him from behind. Then the influential Alvarez, number eight forStompers scored and this time McLister converted to give Stompers a commanding lead 24 -0 at half time. The influence of veterans Attard and Fountain in the Stompers centre was immense as they have played together since childhood.

The second half started badly for Stompers as Galea's kick off fell short, gave away possession at the ensuing scrum? Edmonds placed a precision kick into the corner and Kavallieri worked their merciless trademark driving maul for a try which Edmunds converted from the sideline. Suddenly Kavallieri realized they had a chance. Stompers retaliated with a series of attacks but now the Kavallieri defence was really determined and time and again the cover stopped them. Ed Attard had several strong runs and he and Kavallieri Horn enjoyed an interesting duel on the wing. Kawwara was less impressive as Stompers bombed him with high ball and several times Chermaine handed him off easily as Stompers ran back kicks from deep in their own half. McLister missed a penalty which would have steadied Stompers. Finally Martin powered over after a series of attacks by Stompers and steadied nerves; however McLister missed an easy conversion again.

As the final ten minutes approached Stompers Briffa was yellow carded to the sin bin and suddenly Kavallieri had an opportunity to win. Edmonds kicked into the corner and the trademark driving maul worked again, superbly converted by Edmonds. Game on, and Kavallieri spirit was in overdrive, serial attacks were launched and Blyton finally broke through for another try . Edmonds convereted and there was only 8 points in it. Sadly for Kavallieri their discipline broke down from the restart and they gave away vital possession allowing Stompers off the hook. So Stompers go through to the Mediterranean Cup Final, and Kavallieri must now concentrate on retaining their lead in the Cisk League.

Women's Sevens
Valletta 0 Swieqi Overseas 34
Kavallieri 17 Stompers 0
Valletta 0 Kavallieri 32
Swieqi Overseas 36 Stompers 0
Valletta 0 Stompers 12
Swieqi Overseas 5 Kavallieri 15

Mediterranean Bank Cup
Stompers 29 Kavallieri 21
Gozo Bulls 15 Kavallieri 0
Stompers B 0 Falcons 38
Gladiators 15 Saracens 0
Overseas B 21 Marauders 17