In Pictures: Malta lose carelessly to Latvia

Thursday, November 11, 2010, 16:55

It was an upsetting week for the local rugby clan as the national team crashed to two defeats, 6-9 away to Lithuania and 26-33 at the hands of the Latvia. Both games were qualifiers in the FIRA/AER Division 2A

Saturday’s game against Latvia at the Hibs stadium started off very well for Malta, rushing to a 19-0 lead with three tries by Matthew Camilleri, James O’Brien and Malcolm Attard and two conversions by O’Brien. The stunned Latvians managed to score from two penalties to go into the break with a 19-6 deficit.

The opening of the second half saw Latvia take the upper hand, scoring two tries and the subsequent conversions to level the match at 19-19. Malta’s star player O’Brien scored an impressive try with a sprint from mid-pitch and didn’t miss the conversion to put Malta back on top, 26-19.

Latvia had the last laugh when two tries and conversions in the last few minutes saw the boys in red rejoicing while silencing those on the stands. One must note that Malta coach Damian Neill was missing a number of key players that included Oliver Sacco, Mario Fountain, Tom Holloway and Matthew Mirabelli


  1. fabian says:

    @Tom, i might not be the right person tho answer your concerns,  I agree  that we should have never thrown away a match that we were leading by 19 points, in football terms its like the team was winning 3-1 at halftime and we lost the match 5-4, is it impossible ?, i guess not. As regarding the local players, the coach said that there were a lot of injuries and a lot were not physically fit ( remember the local league has not started yet) usually the squad is composed of 50% local and 50% of Maltese living abroad . I honestly do see nothing wrong in utilizing these players once the rules permits it and they are eligible to represent our country. Do you know that the ENGLAND NATIONAL SQUAD has New Zealander’s in their ranks ? So do the ITALIANS and SOUTH AFRICANS, do you think that these great nations of rugby cannot find decent players to play for their national team ?. Thanks to these players , Rugby has become the fastest growing sport on the island , and an average of 3000 people following the national team is a proof to that. Maltese plaers are learning and will learn more , their time will come , like the others that are already forming part of the national team. a BIG WELL DONE to the fantastic support by the South End Core during the game, you guys were great !, 


    tom Reply:

    no i disagree…
    if the local players are not fit as you state then why arnt they fit, surely a full time coach has time to get them fit?! 
    why doesnt the team have access to specialised fitness training?
    where are the development programmes for the national players and the up and coming players
    why has the Malta A programme of a few years ago gone?
    what about an academy for the 13-18 year olds?

    and by the way yes other countries do use players from abroad but only one or two not 16 players foreign nationals out of a squad of 22 as at weekend!!!


  2. tom says:

    a terrible second half performance from malta, how did they throw that away? 

    strange second half tactics from coaching team, wrong substitutions

    only 6 locally based maltese players in squad of 22, so not good all round

    where are the local maltese players, i am sick of 4 divsion english players coming over to play for malta

    from budget i saw on website over 100, 000 euros spent on international team not counting coaches full time wage = every season

    what do local clubs get to develop local players?


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