Malta Marauders Veterans rugby team took part in their second International Invitation tournament at the Dubai 7s on the last weekend of November. On day one of the competition, Marauders had the toughest of draws in the first day league, meeting last year’s winners Xodus Steelers in the first game. Steelers, featuring a star-studded line-up of ex- international players such as Tinius Delport, Keith Lowen, Jason White and Andy Craig, blitzed Marauders 52-0, and eventually went on to win the Cup for a second year in succession. Marauders lost their second game and drew the third, which left them third in their league on points difference. This put them into the Bowl competition on day two, where they narrowly beat Airbus – France 14-12 in the quarter-final, thanks to a fine interception try by Patrice Debiere. In the semi-final, Marauders played their best rugby of the tournament, beating Waterland Baa-Baas 19-7, with winger Steve Morton scoring a blistering hat-trick. The win put Marauders into the third day finals for the second year running, but one level higher than last year.
The final against Sedye Barsi was a tense affair, with the Russians scoring down the left wing in the first minute, and then adding a second 6 minutes later. Marauders hit back with two tries, the first coming from an interception on the 22 metre line by Debiere, who ran 50 metres before flipping the ball inside to Morton, who touched down under the posts.. The second came from a scrum against the head, with Seamus McCallion making the initial break off the back before passing inside to mark Forster, who burst through the centre to score.
At half-time, the score stood at 14-10 in Marauders favour. In the second half, Sedye Barsi took control of the game for five minutes and scored three unconverted tries from neat interplay between forwards and backs. Marauders fought back valiantly, with Will Thomas-Ferrand winning valuable possession from the line-out, and Sean Duffy putting Debiere into space to score down the left to bring the score to 25-21. With the Russians tiring, the now dominant Marauders forwards attacked their opponents line desperately looking for the winning score. Alas, the final whistle blew to leave a disconsolate Marauders team wishing the game had gone on for a few minutes longer. Malta Marauders would like to thank Orion Malta Airline for their sponsorship in the competition