In Pictures: Malta overcomes Croatia in thrilling match

Sunday, May 1, 2011, 22:42

Backed by a large crowd and the South End Core, the Maltese national rugby team beat Croatia 21-14 yesterday afternoon at the Hibs Stadium in their European Championships Division 2A game.

It was Malta’s first victory in this campaign, after losing their opening two encounters, against a Croatian side that is growing in stature in international rugby.

The locals started attacking against a strong southern wind and O’Brien got the first three points for Malta from a short range penalty at the 15th minute mark. A few minutes later Malta missed a penalty that could have put them 6 points up, but Luke Watts still managed a try with five minutes to go in the first half, with O’Brien missing the conversion. The Croats were quick to strike back, scoring a try and also the conversion, to send both sides to rest with an 8-7 scoreline in Malta’s favour.

During the half time break, there was a lovely display of junior tag rugby which provided a great showcase for all the work that is being carried out by the junior sector of the Malta Rugby Federation.

In the second half, Malta emerged with more determination, attacking with the wind from behind and in the 65th minute, the speedy Matthew Camilleri who plies his trade with the local Stompers side, scored a try. This time O’Brien made the conversion and a few minutes later he also scored a penalty to send the hosts 18-7 up. The Waterloo player got his name on the scoresheet once again with a penalty shot, with the local fans partying on the stands.

Croatia scored a try and a conversion very late in the game when Malta was playing with a man less but they held on to win the game 21-14.

Malta now face Sweden away on the 7th May 2011.

Enjoy our exclusive gallery from yesterday’s game below.

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