Overseas too strong for Valletta

Sunday, February 12, 2012, 21:02

by Mike Turner

OVERSEAS 64 VS VALLETTA LIONS 14

A Valletta squad which was decimated by injuries were no match for the accomplished back play of rampant Overseas, but the spirit of the team was huge as they battled against the odds.

Photo by Jonathan Chetcuti - maltasportphotos.com

Photo by Jonathan Chetcuti - maltasportphotos.com

The forward contest was quite even thoughout the match but the Valletta backs were far too inexperienced, lacking positional sense and being bewildered by the speed and variation they faced. This led to weak tackling and poor tackling technique, which Overseas exploited to the full.

Overseas gifted fly half Wright quickly stamped his influence on the match, dummying and slicing through a gap to put Gibson in for the first try, converted by Chamberlaine.

The next try followed a break by Bolland from full back, and the ball passed through seven pairs of hands as Valletta failed to tackle; Chamberlaine converted again.

Next was Naphausen side stepping easily from a ruck through half hearted tacklers – another Chamberlaine conversion.

At last Valletta woke up and began to play with some commitment and the forwards led the charge to the Overseas line in a fiery charge. The Valletta pack was pushing Overseas back at the set scrum with the heavy men Abela and Acquilina playing a strong grinding game.

Wright jinked through so many times as the Valletta backs seemed mesmerised by his changes of direction and pace, which gave his centres almost continuous half breaks to burst through. Nevertheless the prolletta forwards gained ground behind big kicks fro Moreno and exerted long periods of territorial pressure.

Brincat, scrum half for Valletta was a constant live wire and danger with his sharp attacks, and it he who dived over for their first try, after another forward drive. He is a player of great promise and with good coaching will improve to be a contender for honours. His tackling is good too.

For Overseas, young Decesare showed an intelligent willing to learn and he set up another try after a difficult catch of a high ball and recycle. Again a player to watch for the future if he takes it seriously.
Brincat made a superb individual break and run, and when tackled by Bolland, managed to offload so that Moreno succeeded in battling his way through for a second Valletta try. Brincat converted both with fine kicks.

The Valletta tackling picked up a little but even when they committed they failed to combine a heavy charge with a strong arm grasp so runners could bounce out.

Overseas was given a fully deserved yellow card for a ten minute sin binning. Overseas Cassar, Watkins and McCue were a constant threat with their powerful driving charges, but Valletta front five never gave up the struggle.

Morenos boot was a territory winner for Valletta, butagain and again they would battle in to Overseas 22 only to have the Overseas backs run the ball the length of the field.

The Valletta backs were simply too inexperienced to cope with the variations of pace and direction to put up any effective defence, despite heroic efforts by Moreno, Brincat and the back row.

 

This match shall be televised this coming Tuesday at 7pm on Malta’s only TV channel dedicated to local sports (Malta Stars – Melita Channel 614).

 





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