|Gozo aiming up for Sliema Stompers challenge|
The Gozo Rugby League is preparing itself for its biggest test in the MRL Dove Men+Care Championship when they take on Sliema Stompers this Wednesday night.
The Stompers last week recorded a 58-46 victory over Kavallieri RL and will learn from the club’s introduction to the 13-man code.
Training out of their base at Sliema's Tigne Point, Stompers player-coach Malcolm Attard said “all the boys enjoyed the experience of playing the new code and we are looking to build to grow in this competition game by game”
The Stompers are expected to have Malta international Matthew Von Brockdorff available but Gozo’s own internationals (Debattista, Hili, Hussain) won’t be holding back in the match that is vital to the team’s chances at a place in the Championship final.
Gozo hooker Shan Francois Hussain (pictured above: left) is adamant the Gozitans will give the Sliema team a hard time on Wednesday night.
“I know every one of the boys has my back. And I know every one of them will join me in taking it to the Stompers.” said Hussain.
The Air Malta technician from Kercem in Gozo says his team-mates are guys he can trust are improving on the rugby pitch.
“Our last match was proof that the team has improved a lot. In one play alone, there was over 10 complete passes in a row which led to a try. Not many teams in Malta are able to achieve that let alone score at the end of it”
“If we play like that, we’ll give Stompers a very hard time. But we must play as a team if we want to beat them”
Gozo forward Gary Hili (pictured above: right) speaks similarly as team mate Hussain.
“It will be tough, they are a strong side, but I believe that we can take them on and win it if we stay focused throughout the match”
“They (Sliema Stompers) have some strong players that have been playing the game for a long time but this shouldn't stop us. Every game you play you can't underestimate your opponents, no matter what their size, strength or weakness and the same goes for us, we shouldn’t be underestimated and we want to show this” said Hili.
Gozo RL secretary Eman Borg added that the club is full of excitement in being a part of the MRL Dove Men+Care Championship.
“The Championship has opened a new door for us and our players. New players, new talent and new success is what we’re looking to take out of it” said Borg.
Hili joined Borg and said “It’s a great championship this year. Our first game in the MRL Dove Men+Care Championship went well even though we lost, but it was a great experience. Meeting some new people, having fun while playing, learning and watching rugby league in Malta is great”
Gozo RL take on Sliema Stompers at 7pm on Wednesday at the Balzan FC Ground.
Match Day Two Fixtures
Photo: Matthew Scerri