Malta cruise to Scandinavian victory

Monday, September 5, 2011, 8:25

Photo by Mark Pace

Malta turned on a second half blitz with eight unanswered tries to defeat Norway 64 to 24 at Melita FC Stadium, Pembroke on Friday night.

Sonny Mellor, after grabbing a double, spoke of the Norwegian team’s second half capitulation, said “We did really well in the first half, but the heat shut us down in the second. It was a still a great effort from our guys, and we will be stronger next year”

Both sides exchanged the lead in the first half and went to the sheds at 24-a-piece at half time.

Malta’s Crusaders star Jarrod Sammut starred all afternoon, as he put on two tries in each half and kicked nine from ten in a record amassing 36 point haul for the Maltese.

On an aside, a chip and chase regather from Sammut before a two tackle break from Gozitan Gary Hili set the ensuing play up for a Paul Bartlett try in the left corner, proved a highlight of the match.

The 23-year-old Bradford Bulls bound playmaker added, “It’s always an honour to represent Malta and play with such a great bunch of guys. It was really hot for all of us today, difficult conditions, but we put in a really strong team effort”.

English club rugby league scouts were on hand and were sure to be pleased with individual efforts of domestic championship players Jurgen Pavanello and Joey Criminale, the latter – scoring a 90 metre effort from the 16-year old which would eventually be the game breaker three minutes after the break.

Tempers flared momentarily but the second half was all about the Maltese in cruise control as they paved the way for their greatest performance on home soil.

Shaun Gilmour’s move into the centres saw him charge ahead for a hat trick of tries as Norway’s left side attack was contained and despite being taken from the field after a head knock, the ever present Paul Bartlett crossed again to complete a double in the afternoon heat.

The result was bitter-sweet for Malta as they fell only one converted try short on points differential and Germany took out the 2011 European Shield

Malta 64 (J Sammut 4, S Gilmour 3, P Bartlett 2, J Criminale, J Pavanello tries. J Sammut 10 from 11 goals) defeated
Norway 24 (S Mellor 2, E Meldalen 2, K Elgheim tries. E Meldalen 2 from 5 goals)
At Melita FC Stadium, Pembroke
Crowd: 150
Ref: Mr Jamie Callaghan (Eng)
Touch-Judges: Ms Nadia Gosney (Mlt) and Mr Richard Twigg (Mlt)





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