Coaches leave their mark in weekend games

Monday, December 13, 2010, 22:43

by Mike Turner

Al McKay giving a pep talk to his Overseas players before a game

Al McKay giving a pep talk to his Overseas players before a game

The Cisk Lager League results this week illustrate the clear importance of good coaching, Kavallieri, coached by the ex-Prenier League player from England, Matt Emmerson beat Alligators 34 – 0 and Overseas, coached by Al McKay from Stockport, England, thumped Valletta 62 – 7.

Overseas finished last year’s season with the first trophy for several years and under McKay have improved greatly this year. He has concentrated on the basics and team work, having had experience with juniors in England. It is noticeable that the offloading game played by Overseas has improved enormously, with timing and placing, so that supporting players can take good ball and gain ground easily.

Fitness is also improving under a more strenuous regime which is supported by the players. McKay’s emphasis is teamwork, teamwork and teamwork. As for Kavallieri, their fitness and knowledge is improving all the time under the strict guidance of Emmerson. The Kavallieri spirit has always been a special weapon in their armoury, but Emmerson is instilling a formidable discipline too. This season Kavallieri defence has been excellent, and any team registering a score will have had to work extra hard.

Emmerson is a perfectionist and a hard man, which the free spirits of Kavallieri need. There is still a weakness in that players do not look for the offload or pass but try to make the last few feet themselves, before thinking of passing. When they master that thinking they will be formidable. Emmerson too is concentrating on specialist fitness training which prepares players for the strenuous tests on the pitch, and will avoid unnecessary niggling injuries.

National team Captain, Dominic Busuttil has been in Malta from Wales for the last few weeks and has been coaching juniors and in schools. He is most impressed by the way the youngsters are so keen, and as they watch more rugby on TV more and more are clamouring to play. He agrees that physiologically and mentally the Maltese are ideally suited to rugby football, with its explosive bursts of energy and also the self and team discipline. When coupled with the fierce determination to never give in it makes an ideal formula for success.

Of course, National Coach Damian Neill, is the guiding light but it is very rewarding to see the clubs themselves organizing their own gifted coaches. Rugby will continue to boom under the watchful eyes and inspiration of good coaches, who concentrate on knowledge, teamwork, fitness and even dietary discipline.


Ladies 7s. Friendly.

11am Malta Ladies v HMS Montrose

Ben Bennett Ladies 7s.

11.30am Valletta 7 v Overseas 5

CISK League

12 noon. Alligators 0 v Kavallieri 34
13.30 Valletta 7 v Overseas 62

Mens 10s

15.00 Falcons 5 v Stompers 24


15.30 Stompers 19 v HMS Montrose. 10

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