Stompers beat lively Falcons
Sliema Stompers 45
Qrendi Falcons 5
This scoreline may seem like a romp but it was far from it as the hot and humid conditions, and a Qrendi Falcons team that never gave up the fight, made Sliema Stompers produce their best play.
Both teams were looking to move the ball wide at every opportunity as the scrums were also very competitive.
Richard Gum scored out wide, from a long McLister pass to open the scoring for Stompers, converting the try himself.
Stompers were using their big strong forwards to hit it up but the Falcons were swarming all over them, putting their opponents under pressure as they tried to offload.
On a few plays, the Falcons’ defence looked a bit ragged and that was exploited by Stompers as they scored again with Gum running in his second try in the corner. He converted with a splendid kick.
The Stompers’ rush defence was stifling the Falcons’ passing game.
Then, a bit of individual brilliance saw David Delia pluck a bouncing ball out of the hands of a Stompers player as he reached for it to score, thumping the ball into touch.
When the Stompers got close to the try line they were lethal, Matthew Camilleri hit up and offloaded to Malcolm Attard, then quickly on to Calvin Briffa for him to score near the posts.
Falcons, on the other hand, just could not convert any of their breaks into tries, as either a pass was dropped, a wrong option taken or players were running away from their support.
With referee Sam Ramage, who had a good game and was always in control, blew the whistle for half-time, Stompers were leading 21-0.
Stompers were quick off the mark in the second half, scoring under the posts from a quick tap penalty after Falcons were penalised for coming into a ruck from the side. Gum converted.
At this point, there was a feeling that a big score was in the offing, but Falcons stayed in the game, putting in some big tackles with Lloyd Holliday, Vince Farrugia and Darren Agius leading the way.
But then Daniel Holliday had to retire after a knock to the head and Falcons sorely felt his absence with Stompers gaining dominance up front in the scrums.
Briffa scored again, after a Camilleri break down the touchline, going over under the posts.
Speedy substitute Kawara sparked Falcons back into action. He kicked long, caught the full-back in possession and Ryan Borg picked up the dislodged ball to score.
However, a mistake in the Falcons’ defence gifted the ball to Stompers and going right from the ruck under the posts Gum scored, with a three-man overlap.
Referee: Sam Ramage.
Best players: Richard Gum (Sliema Stompers) and Darren Agius (Qrendi Falcons).