Stompers defeat Alligators

In another highly entertaining match the much improved ‘Gators made Stompers work hard for their win, despite the score difference. In fact for the first quarter of an hour ‘Gators actually enjoyed territorial advantage despite Stompers having the majority of possession. Gators captain Briffa kicked them into the lead with two well taken penalties.

Gators also had what would have been an excellent try with a move covering 60 metres, disallowed for a foot in touch.

After the second one, Stompers Bernard made a good catch from the kick off and finally they launched a prolonged stay in 'Gators territory, leading to clever penalty kick into the corner by Zerafa. The ensuing lineout maul was halted and resolute defence by 'Gators kept them out through a series of scrums until the overlap was finally created and sweeping passing along the line freed up Camillieri for the inevitable try in the corner. Attard missed the conversion and the score was 6-5.

'Gators then lost two players, including captain Briffa who had been a a vital general, marshalling his side. From this moment on  the 'Gators started to crumble in the face of the faster handling support game of Stompers. First Attard scored and converted his own try after a simple but well timed series of passes, the , staright from the kick off, Alvares counter attacked, broke through and sent the supporting Attard in yet again. This time converted by Meintjes, and the half ended with Stompers enjoying a slightly undeserved 19 - 6 lead.

The second half started with a cruel piece of luck as a dropped ball was wildly hacked on down half the pitch and Meintjes was adjudged to have won the race  to touch down under the posts. His conversion was easy and suddenly Stompers were well clear and exerting constant pressure against a somewhat demoralised 'Gators. C. Briffa was next to score, again under the posts, again converted by Meintjes.

Stompers strong and heavy pack were putting on the pressure at every scrum to give 'Gators slow, back foot ball supply, so all their potential attacks were launched from a slow pedestrian base.

The powerful Alvares launched himself yet again from the base of the Stompers back, released Galea, who took the ball to a scrum on the 'Gators line, then a lineout. 'Gators won the ball but Sammut's clearance kick was poor and from that position the ball went out to Meintjes who rocketed a superb long range pass out to Boulais unmarked on the wing for an easy try. Attard missed the conversion.

Stompers went straight back on the attack with a series of forward charges and offloads and prop forward Sullivan was sent into the clear to score under the posts yet again, converted by Attard.

At last 'Gators went back on the attack and spent some time close to the Stompers line but just could not marshall the ability to finish the job and score. Slowly Stompers wore their way back and the old switch and dummy firm partnership of Satariano and Attard split the defence for Attard to ground the try and Meintjes converted.

Stompers Gatt enjoyed a busy time in the loose throughout the game, Soul and Sammut were prominent for 'Gators, but when coach/captain Briffa went off they lost direction.

However, this season it is clear that there will be very few easy matches for teams. In order to win all teams will have to work hard, which makes the game very much more interesting for the spectating public.


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