Injuries destroy Overseas campaign

In a game which offered a lot of good rugby in often difficult wind conditions, injuries to key players and missing squad members deprived both sides. Stompers went on to defeat Overseas 30-17.

13 March 2011, 12:00am
Mike Turner

Opting to play with a strong wind behind them in the first half, Overseas immediately began exerting territorial pressure despite giving away several penalties. Penetrative scrum half Sammut was not available and this reduced their effectiveness. To make matters worse, star player Wright was injured early on and the bite was further removed from their attack. For their part Stompers defended well and had an advantage in the set scrums, with centre Van Reeven  filling in as a lock forward for Overseas.

Stompers Attard made a great break from inside his own 22 metre, but sent a horrible pass with a three man overlap, and Overseas soon pressed on again.

Stompers Pace-Moore was very lucky not to give away a penalty try for holding back Mestre, but he was yellow carded to the sin bin.

Finally Overseas pushed through and spun the ball wide for Saliou to cross for a try, which was poor reward for their constant pressure.

Stompers finally managed to claw their way into the opposition half after some determined running and tackling made nonsense of poor handling on the Overseas left wing. Overseas gave away yet another silly penalty and went to sleep by expecting a kick attempt. However Ellul was allowed an unchallenged run and he used his weight to trundle over and equal the score.

This inspired Overseas to up their game, charging, running and rucking until Metre scored a deserved try, to make the score 10-5 at half time.

As Stompers turned around with the wind at their backs they must have believed they had won the first haf by keeping the lead so small. They went straight into a territorial assault and Cerketa, who had a good running game together with his forceful presence in the set and rucks, battered his way over to level the scores.

Overseas Ferrand put his side under further pressure by earning a yellow card sin bin, but Zammit of Stompers was very lucky not to earn one for deliberately lying on and slowing the ball.

Overseas hit back with an interception try by Mestre which he converted, but captain Howland was obviously suffering from injury in his play. Attard broke through for Stompers and was stopped by an illegal tackle which earned Cassar a yellow card sin bin and handicapped his side again.

Stompers left wing Debattista  was coming into the game more and more and he scored the next try. Stompers finally took the lead with a powerful run by Debattista through three tackles for his next try.

Stompers Ellul was lucky to get away with a tackle on a man without the ball which obstructed a defender and from the ensuing ruck the ball went wide to Attard who made a fine break to make the scoring inside pass to the supporting Galea.  

Overseas were still running attacks from deep against the wind and Camilleri tap tackled Boland as he was breaking free, then Cachia dropped a pass as he was being freed on the wing.

Finally a lucky bounce flipped into Camilleri’s hands but he selfishly held on with a three man overlap. Nevertheless Stompers won a penalty and Attard notched the final 3 points so Stompers ended with a handsome win.