Local Sport > Rugby > GLADITORIAL BATTLE AT LUXOL

GLADITORIAL BATTLE AT LUXOL

Gladiators were beaten 82-12 by Stompers in Round 3 of the Malta Rugby League domestic championship this week.

A fresh new venue at Luxol Stadium, Pembroke hosted the first 13 v 13 game of the season on Tuesday night with both sides assembling full squads (with reserves) for the 9pm kick off.

Previous matches this season have been played in the shortened 9s format of the game as players become accustomed to the taxing Mediterranean conditions.

Officiated by newcomer match referee Matt Hill, the evening started gravely for the Gladiators.

Stompers wingers Malcolm Attard and Richard Gum (pictured) both went through paper thin defence down the flanks to each cross in their corner before the clock had even ticked over 5 minutes.

Trailing 8-0 so rapidly, a Damien Davis speech peppered with some colourful language managed to spark enough interest among his team mates to get Jean Pierre Zarb across the line for the Gladiators soon after.

Gladiators then bombed another certain two tries in as many minutes but momentarily hit the lead later in the first half when Robin Cutajar linked up with loan player Sam Blyton Keep putting him across for a double. Conversions were unsuccessful and the score crept up to 12-8.

Instead of kicking on, the cue was put back in the rack. Blyton Keep put up several well placed cross field kicks for his outside backs but they were unable to be exploited by the inexperienced players.

A try to Jeremy Debattista converted by Nicky Maylor regained the lead for Stompers and in the second half they never looked likely to be run down as the underdone Gladiators failed to match the intensity.

While Gladiators President David Cutajar expressed his disappointment, he tried his best to find some positives.

"Particularly in the first half we had few chances to get out of our end and show some flair," he said.

"The overall problem is we are a bit rusty and inexperienced."
Cutajar then explained that the final result belies a good game. "It was a great spirit throughout and it’s definitely something we can build on" he said.

Cutajar heaped praise on opposing players and singled out Isaac Bezzina, Richard Gum and Jeremy Debattista saying their speed and skill were outstanding.

Pierre Zarb added "In patches, everybody gave something”
"But after constantly turning the ball over on the second and third tackle ... well, no side can win by doing that."

Round 3 Matches involving Malta Origin XIII were abandoned due to last minute withdrawals decimating the teams playing roster.

A 30-0 score line was awarded in favour to their opposition for those games.
Origin XIII keenly awaits the arrival of 3 new experienced signings next week to bolster their attacking options.

STOMPERS 82
Tries: M.Attard (1), M.Camilleri (1), J.Debattista (4), I.Bezzinna (4), R.Gum (2), C.Mercieca (1), N.Maylor (1), R.Thomson (1)
Goals: JCaruana (1), M.Attard (1), J.Debattista (2), R.Gum (5), N.Maylor (1), R.Thomson (1)

GLADIATORS 12
Tries: S.Blyton-Keep (2), Jean Pierre Zarb (1)

Man of the Match: Richard Gum.

Match Official: Matthew Hill.
 
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