Last-gasp win for Kavallieri

By Mike Turner

Mrs Elliott presented the Elliott Cup, dedicated to the memory of her husband Ray, to a triumphant Kavallieri team, which snatched a dramatic win in the final seconds after Galea of Stompers failed to clear his lines and gave a ‘hospital pass’ (i.e., a pass that exposes the receiver to the danger of a high tackle) instead.

The match was refereed by top class official Mr Crooks from Manchester, backed by Mr Halliday and Mr Cove as touch judges ,as part of the exchange arranged through John Ranson: the ex British Lion who now lives l/o Siggiewi.

Maltese ref Stephen Busuttil was also assessed by RFU assessor Mr Alan Farmer and this team will be refereeing the youth  rugby festival..

From the start the Kavallieri pack posted their style of domination of possession by recycling ball after ball, but the attacking waves were breaking on the stalwart Stompers defence. Chris Vassallo made a welcome return for Kavallieri and was prominent throughout the match, and Sean Doublesin was always a speedy danger.

However Stompers opened the score with a superb try after the full back fumbled a speculative high kick and Galea pounced to score a fine try, converted by Camilleri. Stompers’ speed was influential.

Kavallieri worked hard to gain territory and Vassallo barged over for a try but Schembri missed the conversion. Player/coach Emmerson was a weak point for Kavallieri at fly half because of poor distribution which wasted so much good ball

Stompers full back Fountain was injured, which removed a good attack option.Half time score: 7-5 to Stompers.

Stompers began the second half with some excellent running attacks as they stretched the ball wide. The game rocked back and forth until Grima mad a thirty metre burrowing run off the back of a lineout to restore the lead to Kavallieri.

Stompers fought back and Pace-Moore drove over after a long siege of the Kavallieri line after fine tactical kicking gained position.

Mallia was yellow-carded as Stompers looked the more likely winners until in the dying moments, when a long kick by Doublesin was fielded by Galea who, instead of clearing his line, gave a hospital pass inside, and the Kavallieri pack pounced, drove for the line and Grima grounded for the winning try, converted by Mallia on his return.

Rugby results:

Ray Elliot Cup:

Kavallieri 17  -  Stompers 12

 Cisk League:

Valletta 30 - Alligators 5 

Malta 10s Challenge:

Kavallieri 31 -  Stompers 12

Overseas 38 -  Falcons 5

 Ladies:

Tunisia Ladies Select 25 - Malta Ladies Select 15

 

  

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I must say that Matt Emmerson done a great job considering that he retired from the game 10 years ago and had to play flyhalf, a position he never played before as he used to play as a flanker. It is als not fair to describe his performance as weak as through his presence he led the team to victory. Few years ago there was a similar case but in a different sport called football. A retired striker played as goalkeeper and was hailed as a hero because he orchestrated his team to success through attractive football!!! Well done Matt, Brian Miller President Kavallieri RFC
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We appreciate that Mike T always want to see us better and better. However, as Kavallieri RFC we are very grateful for our coach's presence on the pitch on Saturday. Being a forwards led team, the Kavallieri only got stronger with Matt at 10. He put a structure which the boys followed. He allowed the forwards to breath and think. He held the ball when there wasnt the proper support. Having said that the club through the experience of Matt Emmerson will be working on youth players to fill in key positions that are still missing in our great team. Kavallieri Team Manager
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Thank you MaltaToday for the coverage of our sport. Welldone to all the Kavallieri on the island, as this is a cup that represents our heritage and we will always fight to keep this Cup. Our number 10 played a very good game with hard tackles and giving us all the structure we need in our aggressive game. Keeping in mind That he has stepped on the pitch after ten years not playing and after only two training sessions, he has lead us all by his example and out club will always be proud to have had you on our pitch. Chris Vassallo No.8 and Kav Captain