Gozo RL perform strongly in match against Sliema Stompers
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Sliema Stompers and Malta Origin have opened up a four-point domestic championship lead after another round of the 2012 MRL Dove Men+Care Championship at the Balzan FC Ground last night.
The Stompers’ victory however was in the balance as Gozo RL held the Sliema club for the first quarter of the match, leading 16-6.The Stompers banked on the likes of national team centre Matthew Camilleri putting in yet another resounding performance with a hat-trick of tries to send him atop of the top try scorer’s ladder.
A hat-trick of tries too to South African Rob Meintjes was complimented with tries to Gigi Zammit, Ed Willis, John Ellul and Ben Cassecouilles as the Stompers turned around a 10 point deficit into a 28-point victory in another mild weathered evening of rugby league.
The Gozitans were well led by veteran John Micallef-Moreno and captain-coach Clifford Debattista, while Shan Francois Hussain was a standout for the underdogs.
In the red and black of Sliema, a number of strong performances caught the eye of Malta national coach Anthony Micallef.
“This year’s championship is providing a good insight into an array of new players. We’ll be naming a train-on squad next week and I can see a number of new additions. I’ve had a chat with a couple of those new players and all are genuinely excited by the opportunities,” said Micallef.
“I will talk with the clubs’ coaches also and with my senior national team players, will come together with a solid squad contesting the final 17 places for our international next month against Denmark.”
After full-time of the first match of the evening, referee Nadia Gosney presented Sliema Stompers prop Dragan Cerketa with the Match Day One Player of the Round Award.
Kavallieri RL vs Malta Origin
Kavallieri RL were left to forfeit their fixture as they failed to arrive with a full starting team.
The suggested ‘kings of Maltese rugby’ were left to borrow players as they challenged Malta Origin in a 9-a-side development match.
On the back of some great individual talent, Kavallieri RL led from start to finish, helped by four tries to the flying Scotsmen Lewis Naphausen and Gian Tonna crossing for the only try to a strictly Kavallieri RL player.
For Malta Origin, a strong all round performance from teenage prop Joe Paolella along with a try and three conversions to Sam Keep saw the team not bow without putting up a considerable challenge.
Malta Origin will regroup before taking on fellow domestic championship leaders Sliema Stompers in match day three that will serve as a preview to the Championship Final.
Gozo RL will meet Kavallieri RL in the third place decider.
2012 MRL DOVE MEN+CARE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHDAY 2 RESULTS
Sliema Stompers 54 (M.Camilleri 3, R.Meintjes 3, E.Willis, G.Zammit, J.Ellul, B. Cassecouilles tries; R.Meintjes 4 from 5, E.Willis 1 from 2, B.Cassecouilles 2 from 3 goals) defeated
Gozo RL 26 (S.F.Hussain 2, J.Micallef-Moreno 2, C.Debattista, tries; S.F.Hussain 2 from 4, J.Moreno-Micallef 1 from 1 goals)
H-T: Sliema Stompers 24-16
Best & Fairest: M.Camilleri (Sliema Stompers) & S.F.Hussain (Gozo RL)
At Balzan FC Ground.
Kavallieri RL 52* (L.Naphausen 4, D.Frendo 2, G.Tonna, A.Patamia 2 tries; D.Frendo 6 from 7, J.Rulli 1 from 1, A.Patamia 1 from 1 goals) defeated
Malta Origin 26* (J.Criminale 2, J.Atanda 2, S.Keep tries; S.Keep 3 from 4, J.Rulli 0 from 1 goals)
H-T: Kavallieri RL 30-6*
Note: Malta Origin handed 20-0 win after Kavallieri RL forfeit.
Best & Fairest: L.Naphausen (Kavallieri RL) and J.Paolella (Malta Origin)
At Balzan FC Ground.
2012 MRL Dove Men+Care Championship Standings:
Sliema Stompers 4pts (+40)
Malta Origin 4pts (+28)
Kavallieri RL 0pts (-32)
Gozo RL 0pts (-36)
7: M.Camilleri (Sliema Stompers)
5: J.Criminale (Malta Origin), L.Naphausen (Malta Origin) & R.Meintjes (Sliema Stompers)
4: D.Frendo (Malta Origin/Kavallieri RL)
Top Point Scorers:
40: D.Frendo (Malta Origin) = 4 tries, 17 goals
28: M.Camilleri (Sliema Stompers) = 7 tries
28: R.Meintjes (Sliema Stompers) = 5 tries, 4 goals
Matchday 3 Fixtures: Malta Origin v Sliema Stompers; Kavallieri RL v Gozo RL.
Photos by Matthew Scerri show at the top, Gozo RL’s Gary Hili taking on the Sliema Stompers defence and below, Sleima Stompers’ Dragan Cerketa on an attacking raid against Gozo RL.