Stompers shock Overseas

Monday, January 31, 2011, 12:27

by Mike Turner.

STOMPERS    45      vs     OVERSEAS    31

An entertaining and scintillating contest of high standard rugby was played at Marsa. Despite some strongly disputed refereeing decisions, this match was actually lost byOverseas’ indiscipline in the first quarter, possibly instigated by the explosive start by Stompers. A major factor was the return of Fountain who adds a whole new dimension to the Stompers attacking back line with his angled, well timed bursts from fullback.

 After strong territorial pressure Fountain was given the ball wide to score the first try, converted by Attard, who place kicked superbly throughout to give his side twelve conversion points plus a penalty, 15 points, which exceeded the winning margin.

Overseas responded well and pressed into the Stompers half, Fountain making a try saving, crushing defensive tackle in front of his posts, until an over-eager Sammut went offside and Stompers benefited from hesitant defence and then Overseas gave away a  silly penalty, converted by Attard to extend the lead.

Brook for Stompers was yellow carded for a trip and immediately Overseas launched a series of attacks with their fine backline passing for Cassar to score a good try. More Overseas chaos and indiscipline gave away territory from which Attard Scored excellent points. Then Cassar burst away from the back of the scrum, flipped to the supporting Sammut who offloaded to Howland for a fine try.

The duel between the two young scrum halves was interesting, Stompers Galea having the better pass but Overseas Sammut the more dangerous runner, but both show  improvement and may challenge for representative honours if they continue to improve. Overseas Devaney seemed harshly penalized for charging down a pass and yellow carded to the sinbin, but Overseas gave away needless penalties and ground until Attard popped  a lovely chip into a gap and scored again for Stompers.

Stompers were confident that their running game would work and gave up several kickable penalties to run the ball. Cassar made yet another penetrating run, with a big hand off until he ran into the tackle of the inevitable Fountain. In fact, although the Overseas backs were launching excellent attacks, the Stompers tackling defence was equal to the task. Until Overseas scored a good try, converted by Rubrecht, the Dutch international. Overseas were on a high wave and scored again under the posts with Rubrecht converting in a split second.

Unfortunately a nasty late tackle by Stompers went unpunished through inexperience by the touch judge, who could not identify the player. This should have earned a yellow card sin bin, which could have turned the game.

Stompers then pulled away again with a try under the posts after a knock on went unpunished. Sullivan, a front row sub, was prominent in the loose with good positioning  and solid running. Overseas hit back to keep the big crowd on tenterhooks, but  Stompers tied the match up with a late try, after yet another generous view of a forward  pass. Indeed for most of the final quarter Stompers managed to push up onto the  dangerous Van Reeven, McRae, Mestre and Boland from very suspiciously close positions, which made defence easier, despite the rhythm of the Overseas attacks.

This result brings all the top three teams into play for the Cisk League championship, and promises a dramatic finish to the competition.





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