Malta Marauders

Malta's only veterans touring rugby team


Marauders narrowly lose unbeaten record

Posted on February 17th, 2014 by Phil Gibbs


Marauders narrowly lost their unbeaten record at a sun-drenched Marsa on Saturday to a young Overseas side.  Numbers played a big part, with Marauders struggling with injuries and absentees, and only able to field the bare minimum team with no substitutes on the bench, whereas Overseas had the full complement of replacements. On top of this, debut second – row Garrett Kampff left the field after just 5 minutes with respiratory difficulties, meaning Marauders had to play almost the entire game a man down.

Overseas opened the scoring midway through the fist half, working the ball through their backs to good effect, and the kick was converted. Marauders pulled one back almost immediately after Dan Moore put in a penetrating kick to the corner. Overseas knocked on in the resulting line-out, and from the scrum, the French scrum-half Benjamin Algyrn, playing his first game for Marauders, picked up and darted round the blind side to score the first of what would become a debut hat-trick.

No further scores materialized in the first half, and the turnaround score remained 7-5 in Overseas favour. In the second half, Marauders set out to negate the one-man overlap by playing tightly around the fringes and trying to retain possession. Their pack were dominating the scrum, and with the Overseas pack going backwards, their number 8 knocked on. With the referee playing advantage, Will Ferrand-Thomas put in the initial hard yards down the left before releasing the ball for Algyrn to glide in to score his second. Unfortunately, Marauders normally reliable line-out was not firing, and they were punished when they lost the ball from the first throw, leaving Overseas ran in an easy try. The conversion took them ahead by 14 points to 12. With the game finely balanced Marauders had their best period of play, and sustained pressure brought its rewards when, off a line-out that they actually won for a change, they set up a powerful drive and ruck and the nippy Algyrn evaded his tacklers to notch up his hat-trick. This put Marauders 17-14 ahead and scenting an unlikely victory, but a decision to kick ahead instead of retain possession gifted Overseas the ball which they gratefully ran in using their one-man advantage. Marauders tried desperately to score, with Brian Dalton making a couple of surging runs down the right wing, but to no avail, and the final whistle saw Overseas take the win 21-17 in a highly entertaining game.

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