Rugby: Kavallieri fight back to win in the last minute over Falcons

Tuesday, December 20, 2016, 14:42

Bryan Corlett

In this last Cisk Lager League game of 2016 Kavallieri won it in the last minute, scoring a try to snatch a win over Falcons, who had done the same to Sliema Stompers in last weeks’ match.

It was perfect weather for the day and after the rains the field was in excellent condition.

It was a tense game throughout the eighty minutes with the fear of a loss probably in the minds of both teams. Kavallieri tried to keep it tight up front in the forwards with many pick and goes trying to bash the Falcons forwards into submission.

Kavallieri were having trouble getting out of their half for the first 20 minutes of the game as a few promising moves, as they went wide, fizzled out due to dropped passes.

Falcons scored first, from constant pressure on the Kavallieri line, which finally bore fruit as Aaron Borg(13) received the ball out wide and flashed down the touchline, beating would be tacklers to score a try which was not converted, to lead on 27 minutes 5 points to 0.

Kavallieri were quick in retaliation, winning several penalties from Falcons’ infringements Edmunds(10) kicked for position, then from a lineout and maul Chris Desira(2) scored going over in a heap of bodies and with Joseph Cutajar’s conversion Kavallieri were in front by 7 to 5 and that score took the game through to half time with Referee Da Silva blowing the whistle.

Kavallieri raised their game in the second half with their forwards driving downfield with Napoletano(1), Borg(4) and Galdes all carrying strongly and for a period of 10 minutes laid siege to the Falcons’ tryline with finally Jean-Pierre Zammit(6) having an excellent game, bashing his way through the Falcons forwards to score 10 metres in from the touchline, an unconverted try. Kavallieri 12 Falcons 5.

Julian Galea(9) was trying to get his team back into the game with quick tap penalties and fast ball to his backline, but a few moves came unstuck as players were either not running onto the ball or passes were going astray. The Kavallieri rush defence also did not allow the Falcons’ backs any room to move.

Repeated infringements around the tackle area from both teams had Referee Lionel Da Silva laying down the law and giving both teams a final warning, in the next play he flashed a yellow card to Josef Borg(4) for not releasing the tackled player and he was sin binned for 10 minutes.

With the numerical advantage Falcons took play to the Kavallieri 22, with Halliday(16) having come on, leading his charging pack forward, giving front foot ball to Julian Galea at half back, he threw a dummy pass and went over to score, inching the score closer at 12 to 10 to Kavallieri.

At that point it looked like Falcons had found their game and would kick on to win it. Dalton(23) was sin binned for a high tackle and for a few minutes Kavallieri were down to 13 men.

Falcons on the attack again moved the ball wide, it stuttered and lost momentum as the Kavallieri defence swarmed on the ball carrier, but Cost-Critien wearing 14 but playing fullback, received an offload and scored to take the lead for Falcons, 15 to 12.

At that time in the game Falcons needed to play smart and kick for territory and so force Kavallieri to have to run it from 80 metres out, but they did not change their tactics, which allowed Kavallieri to keep attacking from close.

Aquilina(12) hit the replacement Sammy Kawara with a big tackle as he headed to score in the corner from a Falcons attack.

Edmunds(10) was directing his team and with Joseph Cutajar(8)leading the forward rushes Falcons were under pressure and in the last minute of the game Edmunds scored out wide from a wrap around play, Cutajar(8) floated the conversion in from the touchline to start the Kavallieri celebrations for a great comeback win.

Kavallieri Man of the Match: Darren Edmunds. Falcons Vince Farrugia(3).

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Second Match of the Day: Stompers 59, Gladiators 17.

Women’s Rugby: Overseas won both the Division 1 & 2 Five-a-side tournament over Falcons and Kavallieri.

Fixtures restart on the 7th of January

Photos by Ian Stilon and Zara Ameen

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Gallery

Kavallieri vs Falcons

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