Kavallieri scrape past Overseas to take championship

Friday, April 15, 2011, 18:20

by Mike Turner


Kavallieri clinched the Cisk Lager League with this narrow win, but spoiled their triumph with a disappointingly aggressive style, after an experienced International player had thrown a nasty punch and should have been taken off the field. A weird lack of communication between referee and tough judge resulted in him continuing; it could be said to have swung the result.

Kavallieri started slowly and the for first quarter Overseas were much more incisive, Cassar having a rampaging game to score the first try after a tap penalty, ruck and flip pass released him to swerve and charge past three players; Wright converted.

The territorial advantage stayed with Overseas, despite the experienced Kavallieri front row having the edge on their opponents.

Overseas Boland scored again after bursting through the Kavallieri back line with a lovely timed, angled run and again Wright converted.

Overseas Sammut recovered from a nasty kick on the head but just as Overseas were looking comfortable Kavallieri stepped up a gear, winning loose ball again and again resulting in a fine try by Allegruci with a two man overlap. Welsh newcomer, Edmunds converted with a fine kick.

Under pressure Overseas began to flap, Captain gave away a silly penalty by refusing to retreat after a kick, and then tried to run out after another penalty instead of relieving the pressure by a touch kick. Kavallieri tails were up. With the wind behind them, Kavallieri took more and more territory with another good driving maul, but Cassar led Overseas back, only for wild passing to allow the attack to break against the renowned Kavallieri defence. Kavallieri scored again to bring the score closer after the punch incident. Score at half time: 14-12.

Sadly, the game lost any style and discipline in the second half with Overseas losing their pattern and playing “headless chicken” rugby, all effort and no direction. They really need more discipline and sensible leadership. An injury to Wright may have influenced the decision not to kick at goal for several penalties – that extra three points would have won the match.

In response many of the Kavallieri resorted to needless aggression, which stained their overall performance. The next score came from yet another big driving maul by Kavallieri to take the lead. Cutajar was yellow carded for Kavallieri. The game became littered with mistakes by both sides, but Overseas were determined if not disciplined, and a series of attacks resulted in a good try by Wright after quick ball was won from a ruck near the line. He missed the comparatively easy kick.

Overseas West then committed a stupid trip foul which resulted in a yellow card and time in the sin bin which enabled Kavallieri to build strong territorial pressure and Edmunds kicked them into the lead with a penalty.

Overseas raised their frenetic work rate, wasted two kickable penalties, and pressed territorially against a gallant and desperate Kavallieri defence, who were lucky not to give away a penalty try by talking back to the referee and the game ended with Kavallieri hanging on desperately against a serious but inconclusive battering.

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