Kavallieri dismantle Valletta

Under new coach, Anthony Griffiths, from Wales, Valletta Lions are greatly improving but lack the final finesse.

9 February 2014, 12:00am
An improved Valletta side were still not good enough to stop Kavallieri. Photo Ray Attard
An improved Valletta side were still not good enough to stop Kavallieri. Photo Ray Attard


By Mike Turner

The scrums were uncontested because Valletta front row were inexperienced, and this undoubtedly had an influence on the fluidity of the game. Each scrum took a long time to set and the ball was delivered slowly.

International Cutajar, Kavallieri captain for the day, was dominant off the back of the scrum, leading forward rushes again and again. However Valletta are now a hard side to play against and they defended valiantly. Despite this Cutajar scored the first try, converted by Blyton. From the kick off Kavallieri camped in the Valletta half but could not penetrate. Then a dreadful Valletta clearance kick bounced awkwardly so Kavallieri failed to cover it. Valletta snatched the loose ball and ran in a greatbreakaway try. A bad high tackle on de Gabriele led to a Kavallieri penalty try, unconverted.

Kavallieri had all the advantage of territory, soon adding a further try and then Imbroll imposed a little of his personal magic side steppng and swerving over, converted by Blyton. Aquilina was the next scorer finishing off some excellent passing, Blyton converted again to give Kavallieri a 26 - 5 half time advantage.

Over half time there was some dispute because it was felt that a Kavallieri player was trying to exert undue influence over the referee.

Valletta began the second half in a very determined manner, driving and charging up the field, but Kavallieri won the ball in their own 22 and Blyton spotted the full back had left a big hole at the back, hoisted a fine kick into the hole and the irrepressible Imbrollwon the race to scoop it, was tackled but flipped the ball to Debierre at his side, who scored against the run of play.

Valletta passion rose and they launched waves of attacks, which broke on the rocks of Kavallieri defence and finally Blyton punted a penalty superbly into the corner. However it was Valletta's turn to show their laurels in defence and they won the ball to clear. Sadly instead of kicking they tried to run from their own try lineuntil a poor kick dropped into the hands of the ever hungry Imbroll, who pounced to score again. Imbroll has a hunger for action and an eye for the ball. In fact one feels that he never loses concentration on the ball and the gaps in the opposition defence - a very promising playerfor the national squad, provided he manages his aggression.

Again, never-say-die Valletta stormed back but the difference was that, for all their effort, they did not have the finishing skills to score, until, after a long series of attacks by the forwards, taking on Kavallieri up front, a brawl broke out. At the termination of this Valletta were awarded a penalty try, which they converted.

Kavallieri added another converted try and the final try was scored by busy little scrum half, Schembri.

Blyton gained confidence at fly half for Kavallieri and ended directing the game effectively, as a fly half should. Sam Zammit and Joseph Zarha both had busy matches, and Kavallieri marched on in a successful season. If they continue to improve, Valletta can definitely challenge next year.

Other results

Women's Sevens
Swieqi Overseas 0 Falcons 40
Kavallieri 25 Stompers 0
Swieqi Overseas 0 Kavallieri 45
Falcons 26 Stompers 0
Swieqi Overseas 10 Stompers 10
Falcons 21 Kavallieri 10

Mediterranean Bank Cup
Kavallieri 67 Valletta Lions 12
Swieqi Overseas 26 Stompers 19
Falcons 10 Swieqi Overseas B 19
Gozo Bulls 24 Saracens 7
Kavallieri B 0 Gladiators 15
Marauders 41 Stompers B 19