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MT 27 March 2016

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maltatoday, SUNDAY, 27 MARCH 2016 Sport 48 RUGBY Swieqi Overseas quell Falcons's fire BRYAN CORLETT THIS game was a must win for Overseas to take them into a play- off with Stompers, as Stompers had won their game prior to this one. Falcons playing into the wind kicked off long but directly into touch so Referee Edwin Ward brought the play back to a scrum on the halfway. Falcons were run- ning all their ball on attack, even from their own tryline trying to gain some momentum. A lot of the first 10 minutes of play they were defending their line from an Overseas' onslaught, but finally they broke loose upfield with some inter-change passes with Julian Galea (9) and Bjorn Micallef (10) the playmakers. From a ruck close to the Overseas tryline Daniel "Pancho" Holliday (2) scored with two men on his back. Falcons 7 Overseas 0 with Zarb (15) kicking the conversion. Overseas increased their mo- mentum with Clayton Cassar (12) playing in the backs, bashing his way at pace, trying to offload to get his team on the front foot. Harvey (1) the Overseas Captain had a run close to the Falcon's line and passed to James Steele who scored in the corner, with no con- version it was Falcons 7 Overseas 5. On the attack again Nicky Vella (9) went left, passed to Corcoran (10) who passed inside to John Debono(1) then went left and wide to Clayton Cassar who scored out wide, the conversion was success- ful it was now. Overseas 12 Falcons 7. A four man overlap was ignored when an Overseas runner turned inside, Clayton Cassar had a cou- ple of 50 metre runs but they died out as he out ran his support. Falcons were not overawed by the strength of Overseas and kept running it from all areas of the field and their defence was not al- lowing Overseas any inroads. Just before half time a Falcons spear tackle put Tyson Freeman (6) into the sin bin for 10 minutes. Checci (15) showed some class at fullback for Overseas and had a swerving run through the Fal- cons zig zag defence and offloaded to his winger Bailey Redeemer (14) to score the corner taking the score out to Overseas 17 Falcons 7. Another fine run downfield by Cassar (12) biting off 50 metres, he then offloaded to James Steele (13) who scored taking the score to Overseas 22 Falcons 7, but they were down to 14 men. Just on half time Ryan Borg had a weaving run from his own tryline carving off fifty metres but the run died out with a bad pass going into touch. Falcons with the wind in the second half possibly fancied their chances and began with new ener- gy but from the kickoff Harvey (1) smashed Benji Borg (8) as he tried to take the ball over the gainline . An ambitious chip and chase from Micallef (10) from his own tryline put the ball behind the Over-seas backs, with a lucky bounce popping the ball up in front of an onrushing Ryan Borg (11) only to have him knock on when the coast was clear. Overseas attacked the Falcons's tryline but a mistake put the ball into the hands of a flying Bjorn Micallef (10) who ran it 75 me- tres to score under the posts at the other end, the conversion now made it Overseas 22 Falcons 14. Falcons began to believe again but Overseas lifted their game and pressure in the scrum had Falcons dropping the ball near their line for Corcoran (10) for Overseas to swoop and score taking the score into a safe zone at 29 to 14 with the Checci conversion. Overseas attacked again and from close range Harvey (1) used his strength to bulldoze over the line, making the score now 34 to 14. Pijon had an impressive game at No 8 one time tracking back to cover his fullback and running the ball back out to the halfway. Others to impress were Peter Debono with some charging runs and the service at scrum half of Nicky Vella. But it was the Falcons who scored again when Julian Galea(9) chipped over the Overseas defence gathered the ball and dived over out towards the corner making the final score Oversea 34 Falcons 14. I liked the attitude of the Falcons players, the fact they competed throughout and never gave up, run- ning the ball from all over the park. Overseas now go into a playoff with Stompers with a winner take all game. PHOTOGRAPHY BY IAN STILON Thurles test Maltese Ladies KIRBY ATTARD EASTER Saturday brought a touring side from Thurles to play two selections of Maltese play- ers. Thurles RFC hail from Tip- perary, Ireland and are usually a 15s side. First game Thurles played Mal- ta Pirates; a game characterised by good passing skills from both sides. The teams kept studying each other and the score was balanced but in the end, Thurles showed an edge on the Pirates and ended winning the game. Thurles 17 - 10 Malta Pirates. Second game, Thurles faced a tougher opposing side as they had to battle Malta Barbarians. The Maltese showed superiority in fitness and speed as they kept breaching Thurles' defence over and over. Nonetheless, the Irish gave a beautiful game, showing spirit and humour. The game ended 59 - 0 for Malta Barbar- ians. Touring sides like Thurles help in the development of the Mal- tese sides, providing fresh rugby and new faces. Now that the women's 7s league is coming to an end later in April, focus will shift to the selection of the na- tional team in June. The selected 12 will represent Malta in Zen- ice, Bosnia & Herzegovina late in July. PHOTOGRAPHY BY IAN AQUILINA

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