British Army win warm up match against Gozo RL Invitational
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The British Army’s 1 MERCIAN RL had a positive warm up at Sannat on Friday night when they ground out a 50-4 win over a Gozo RL Invitational.
Four tries to captain Luke Roirdan and another two to Waqa Si helped the visitors to victory against a trying Gozo outfit that was helped with Malta XIII hopefuls trialling for a place in this Monday’s team to take on the same opponents.
The home side wasn’t to be embarrassed, opening the scoring through captain-coach Clifford Debattista after seven minutes of playing following multiple sets of six at their opposition’s own line.
The British then replied through the first of their Fijians, Jese Kauleta, Simon Done adding the extras.
It was a tussle for the opening quarter of the match with a 6-4 scoreline, simple errors keeping both teams in the match, and while the British crossed for two tries before the break thanks to captain Luke Roirdan and Danny Waltham, a 16-4 half time score was risky business for the tourists as they struggled to get away as early as they would have liked.
The second half was as entertaining for the circa 100 plus crowd as the first half, running rugby down in front of the nearest stand to the fans, together with some jolting tackles in the middle of the park producing a glorious evening of rugby on Malta’s sister island.
Skipper Luke Roirden backed up well for a hat trick (total of four tries in the match) in the second half while for the Gozitans, debutant Jake Lynch turned in a performance that will undoubtedly play him into the Malta XIII.
While the Gozo RL Invitational doesnt have any long term injuries to contend with, both playmakers Darren Edmunds and Michael George went down with head knocks, George unable to return to the field. But their opposition looked post match as a little worse for wear.
The British Army regiment were well helped by their Fijians who crossed for four pliinters of their own as well as set up a number of inside balls to runners at pace through man of the match Jese Kauleta. Kauleta sent Waqa Si over for two tries, Danny Waltham got over the white chalk and so did the big bustling Biukoto.
A number of strong individual performances for the Gozo Invitational team on the wrong end of the scoreline, the Malta XIII contingent will regroup on Sunday morning for its final sessions before Monday’s test between the Malta XIII and the British Army’s 1 MERCIAN RL.
MERCIAN RL 50 (L.Riordan 4, W.Si 2, J.Kauleta, D.Waltham, M.Biukoto tries; S.Done 7 from 9 goals) defeated
Gozo RL Invitational 4 (C.Debattista try, D.Frendo 0 from 1 goals) H-T: 1 MERCIAN 16-4
Players of the Match: Jese Kauleta (1 MERCIAN RL) and Jake Lynch (Gozo RL Invitational)
Ref: Mr A.Micallef
At Sannat FC, Gozo.
Team Photographs by Franco Tabone.