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MT 8 May 2016

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maltatoday, SUNDAY, 8 MAY 2016 Sport 54 RUGBY Overseas' revenge Sliema Stompers ......... 12 Swieqi Overseas .......... 21 MIKE TURNER IN horrible unseasonal weather at Marsa, rain and wind made han- dling the ball difficult but both teams delivered an exciting and entertaining game despite the conditions. Having lost the Mediterranean Bank Cup last week Overseas re- ally wanted this one and despite superb defence by Stompers they pulled it off. From the start, even against the strong wind, Overseas pressed territorially, recycling and swinging from side to side. Nevertheless the Stompers tack- ling and positioning stifled attack after attack and made them ap- pear pedestrian. McLister broke out from defence and forced Overseas back on their heels and the Stompers backs have been coached well to look best as they run onto their ball at speed, and several times they looked as if they might score. However Overseas held on to command and Stompers Gum held up Gauci over the try line. Finally Stompers crumbled when, after the ball had been swung from side to side, lock Schembri showed a fly half side step and cut straight through under the posts, converted by Stivala – 0-7. Overseas went back on the front foot and launched more attacks, until Cecchi and Ledoux put Gau- ci over in the corner. Stivala con- verted to stretch the lead to 0-14. Stompers were always wanting to run and did manage to break out at times. On one of these Over- seas Pijoan was yellow carded and suddenly the game changed as the Stompers had a man extra. They drove and rucked and rocked the Overseas defence. A poor clearance kick by Cor- coran was fielded by Gum who ran back, beating several tacklers, the ball reached the elusive and speedy Caruana who side stepped and ducked to score under the posts. Gum converted – 7-14. Stompers used the wind to kick into good positions and Debono scored in the corner, Gum failed to convert – 12-14, which was the half time score. Gum was lucky to be allowed to stay on the field, having thrown a punch. The wind really strengthened and Stompers were hard pressed, but despite being under constant pressure, their running speed al- ways looked dangerous but Over- seas tacklers held them back. Al- though Overseas had much of the territory, Stompers defence ham- pered them constantly into mis- takes when they tried to launch attacks. Clayton Cassar had a magnifi- cent game, charging off the back of the scrum, and at one point he dropped his shoulder to bounce three would-be tacklers. The pas- sion of Stompers was holding out the applied pressure of Overseas and the tackling of both sides was epic – tackling wins game in rugby. The wind and rain made it difficult but finally, after three blindside runs from scrums and rucks, Stivala made the decisive break with his speed and swerve to beat three men and score under the posts, convert and Overseas were home and dry 12-21. Thus they gained revenge for last week's defeat. Interestingly, the Scottish Union had sent Mr Sam Grove-White, a Premier League, Under 20 World Series referee to referee this match and the game flowed well despite the conditions. Cisk Lager League Champions 2015-2016 – Swieqi Overseas. PHOTOGRAPHY BY IAN STILON International Vets Rugby Tournament 2016 BRYAN CORLET T AN International Veterans Rug- by tournament was played down at Marsa throughout yesterday with six teams playing for the honours. Veterans Rugby is a game played by over 35 year olds stretching out to the Golden Oldies players, who play on into their 60s. The Clubs represented in yes- terday's tournament were Malta Marauders, Malta Legends (ex Malta International players), Horsham Vets Rugby Club, Roy- al Marines, Frascati from Italy, and the Cayac Veterans from France. Played in occasional rain, which created a level playing field, the tournament was won by the Marines who were unde- feated on the day, showing their fitness and strength. Apparently the security of- ficials at each of the teams' de- parting airport were on alert, as the metal detectors picked up the metal hip and knee replace- ments as the aging players made their way through the depar- tures, heading for Malta to play in the tournament. Swieqi Overseas celebrate

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