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Rugby Report 18 February 2012

Kavallieri 29 vs Birkirkara Alligators 0

This match was looked upon as a test to see whether the “new” Alligators could continue their dramatic improvement against the Kavallieri who were fielding some of their experienced internationals but also a number of newcomers and juniors who have come up through the club.

In fact it was disappointing in that for the first half Alligators were strangely disjointed, and gave away ground straight from kick off with wild pass across their own line which was dropped. So Kavallieri were camped on the Gators line for the first five minutes until they incurred a penalty, which was the only way Gators looked like breaking out. 

Most of the play was in Gators half until Kavallieri hoisted what looked like an aimless high kick. However it was allowed to bounce and the two bounces completely fooled the defence, the second into Debierre’s hands for him to score.

Kavallieri continued to dominate territorially and spun the ball along the line to the wing, but a magnificent cover tackle by Gators stopped him dead and into touch. Again Kavallieri kicked into the corner, but the mentally semi-detached Gators threw the ball straight to the unmarked Kavallieri Jameson who only had to fall over for a try.

These two giveaways by Gators were followed by another Debierre try after good,  fast, flat passing put him clear. This one was converted by Vinitius.

Gators enjoyed a few attacks but never really looked like breaching Kavallieri defence. The half was a story of a hesitant and confused Gators against a well drilled and marshalled Kavallieri.

However the second half was a much more even match as Gators upped their game and made a much more interesting contest.

They were managing to mount several attacks but lacked the cohesion and speed of thought to break the Kavallieri cover, despite many brave and forceful runs. One of these, initiated by Van der Linden, only broke down when he aimed a poor pass to his wing, although it was affected by a crashing tackle by Edmunds.

Allegruci, Cutajar and Grech were prominent in leading Kavallieri charges and Schembri was enjoying his return at scrum half.

Another promising half break by Gators was spoiled by a drop by Mupimhidza.
Cutajar was leading driving lineout mauls for Kavallieri to keep Gators on the back foot.
The ubiquitous veteran Hillman came on at full back for Gators, and a   clever low kick by Allegruci gained some 60 metres for Kavallieri and after a series of close scrums and lineouts, Cutajar peeled off and slipped a good pass to Bonavia for the last try, converted by Vinitius.

A troubling factor in the game was the large number of silly penalties given away by Kavallieri and the bad habit of some senior players of arguing with or trying to influence the decisions by the referee. It will not be long before players will be disciplined severely for this.

Many of the Kavallieri have come up through the club juniors and the fact that they are challenging for the League is a big compliment to their coach Joe Cutajar, as they slot so easily into senior play.    

Jonathan Chetcuti from for the photo