Croatia fight back to beat Malta
Malta’s winning run in the Nations Cup Division 2A came to an end yesterday following a 31-16 defeat to Croatia in Zagreb.
Damien Neill’s team came into their last qualifier looking to make it four wins in a row but were undone by a powerful Croatian side who tilted the balance in their favour with three second-half tries.
The result left Malta in third place, five points ahead of Croatia who face second-placed Lithuania next Saturday.
The match had started well for the visitors as two penalties from James O’Brien gave Malta a 6-3 half-time lead.
Croatia looked a rejuvenated side after the interval and after scoring an early try, they never looked back with Malta’s hopes suffering a blow when Dan Apsee, who was making his full debut, got sin-binned.
The Maltese tried to make a fight out of it and Apsee marked his return on the pitch with a try.
But, Croatia remained on top and added two other tries to seal their victory.
Malta bridged the gap late on with a Toby Quarendon try.
Malta: D. Holliday; H. Collins; A. Livesey; L. Watts; C. Sammut; M. Bonavia; D. Apsee; M. Davey; T. Holloway; R. Holloway; J. Morris; D. Busuttil; T. Quarendon; M. Camilleri; J. O’Brien.
Other result: Latvia vs Lithuania 8-48.
Remaining fixtures: (May 5) Sweden vs Latvia; Lithuania vs Croatia.
Standings: Sweden (5-1-1) 24; Lithuania (4-1-2) 24; Malta (4-0-4) 20; Croatia (3-0-4) 15; Latvia (1-0-6) 7.