Overseas run in the tries and away with the spoils

Monday, November 12, 2012, 10:05

by Phil Gibbs

Ray Elliot Cup Final – Kavallieri v Overseas


On a warm day with a gentle breeze blowing across the pitch, it was a perfect day for the opening game of the season.

Kavallieri opened the scoring on 13 minutes, Overseas were penalised for not releasing, and Griffiths slotted over the kick to put them 3-0 up.

Overseas struck back immediately, when Stivala moved the ball wide from the next lineout, and found Wright, who sidestepped his marker to run in under the posts.  Du Toit converted to  take the Overseas into a 10-3 lead

Halfway through the first half Kavallieri got their first try.  Another penalty against Overseas, this time for holding on, was kicked into touch.  Kavallieri won their lineout and set up a rolling maul which trundled towards the line.  Overseas were powerless to halt the attack and Attard was driven over to score.  Griffiths converted and Kavallieri moved back into the lead at 10 – 7.

Five minutes later, Kavallieri were awarded yet another penalty against Overseas for driving straight in the scrum, but the conversion attempt sailed wide.  At this point Kavallieri were dominating territory and possession, using number 8 Cutajar to good effect picking and driving, but Overseas managed to break out of their half with a beautiful run by stand-off George, which took him nearly to the line but he was pulled down short.  Howland  picked up but was illegally tackled, and from the quickly taken tap penalty, the ball found Wright who slipped through to score under the posts.  The conversion brought the score to 14 – 10.

Overseas missed a chance when left wing Thompson made a blistering run from his 22, but a poor pass from Wright was kicked on and Kavallieri were back in the scoring zone. Kavallieri were desperate to score before half time and Overseas were working hard to keep them out.  Finally the pressure told, and a kick through by Kavallieri landed awkwardly under the posts, Du Toit failed to gather it, and Griffiths gratefully grabbed the ball to score. The teams went in at half- time with Overseas trailing 17-14, and on the basis of possession and territory, Kavallieri deserved their lead.

The second half continued in much the same fashion, with Kavallieri picking up form the back of the scrums, and trying to punch it up the middle, and the speedy overseas backs looking to run it wide at every opportunity.  However it was an Overseas forward, Mark Davey who made a charging run up the middle from a penalty for offside  who made the breakthrough.  His pace took him across halfway and further, where he slipped the ball to Thompson, who showed his pace down the wing to evade the lunging tackle from full- back Attard and dart over the line.  Du Toit converted to put Overseas back in the lead 21-17.

Eight minutes later,Clement was penalised for not releasing on halfway, and the kick put Kavallieri on the Overseas 22 metre line. On the Kavallieri throw, Davey picked the ball beautifully off the back of the line, the ball flew to Wright who broke through the defensive line, slipped the ball out to Du Toit who ran round the defender before cleverly slipping it back inside to Wright to score.  The conversion took Overseas more than a score ahead at 28-17,

A 62 minute penalty to Kavallieri put them within 5 metres of the Overseas try line, and they tried to get their powerful rolling maul working again, but this time Overseas managed to clear.

Then Overseas scored probably their best try, when the pack, which had been under so much pressure in the first half, managed to win one ‘against the head’ and their exciting backs took over .  Scrum half Stivala injected the initial pace from halfway, before the midfield pairing of Wright and Du Toit again adroitly interchanged the ball, setting up Thompson to score.  At 33-17 the game seemed to be slipping out of reach for Kavallieri, and a further score on 72 minutes, when  a long kick forward caught Attard exposed under the posts, and Du Toit wrapped him up. The following scrum on the 5 metre line was won by Overseas, and Stivala played a neat one-two with Wright and looped round to score.  Kavallieri refused to give up, but were beginning to tire.  There was still time for two more tries for Overseas, the first a fine, individual run from Cassar who broke through on the halfway line and ran 50 metres to score.  The final try in the dying seconds, came from Overseas dominant back line, when substitute Keep made a  penetrating run down the left wing before putting in Stivala to score his second.  He was rewarded for throwing the ball at his tackler with a yellow card, and the conversion was charged down to leave the final score of a thoroughly entertaining game played in good spirits as Overseas 52 – Kavallieri 22.

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