Sliema Stompers beat KavallieriWednesday, February 29, 2012, 21:33
by Mike Turner
MEDITERRANEAN BANK CUP
SLIEMA STOMPERS 50 VS KAVALLIERI 5.
A much changed Kavallieri side who were missing key players were no match for the smooth Stompers side in the first half, but the second half was a much closer matter. From the start Stompers kicked into flowing rugby, opening up attack after attack. Although Kavallieri defended withspirit.Pavanello opened the Stompers scoring with a try on the blind side after the forwards had driven hard to the line. All the Stompers, forwards and backs, were driving hard, staying on their feet and pumping legs.
Next up was Fountain who scored by supporting another forward drive from full back, conversion by Meintjes. Kavallieri hit back with a drive to the line which was stopped by a hard Fountain tackle. The ball was spun along the Kavallieri back line to Cumbo, when Fountain hit him with a crushing tackle to force a dropped ball. However Cumbo recovered the ball, resumed the attack but though he handed off Pavanello, he was tackled into touch.
Kavallieri gained territory and pressed with determination, but the powerful Alvarez, who was prominent throughout made a stunning break out and only a smother tackle by Azzopardi prevented another try.
Then more ground eating charges by the Stompers pack led by the ever present Cerketa took them well into Kavallieri territory, the ball was spun out to Fountain who timed a perfect scoring pass to Ed. Attard. It looks as if Fountain is returning to his old effective self after a long absence.
Some poor fumbling handling by Kavallieri set Stompers back on the attack, and this time a rampaging bull Cerketa ran through two tackles to score, converted by Meintjes.
A finely judged kick by Lamon put Kavallieri onto the attack but Stompers, won the ball, passed along the line to Pavannello who offloaded to Attard who sliced right through for another try, converted by Meintjes. Next up was Alvarez who scored after Cerketa offloaded to him.
Half time score was 36 – 0.
In the second half the Kavallieri were reduced by injury but strangely did much better and played with much more spirit, spending a lot of time in Stompers half. However, no matter how hard they worked they rarely looked fast enough to break the Stompers defence. Poor passing by Stompers gave away territory until a piece of vintage magic by Satariano, dummy and sidestepped, to rip open the defence and put in Meintjes for another Stompers try, converted by Attard. The determined Kavallieri kept up the pressure and when Bartolo was given a yellow card they upped their pace and Davey scored after a series of rucks and a thirty metre run. This inspired them to camp in the Stompers half but a long, seemingly aimless kick enabled Stompers to break out, cause a ruck and then distribute to M. Attard who flipped to Pavanello. He was simply far too fast for the cover and ran in a final try, converted by Attard.
This was an entertaining match, with much movement and occasionally considerable skill, and it now seems certain that Stompers will be playing in the final for the Mediterranean Bank Cup.