|Try Tag Rugby All-Stars go back-to-back in Malta|
London’s Try Tag Rugby All-Stars successfully defended their crown when they claimed the Malta International Tag Rugby Festival with a 6-1 win over Birkirkara Falcons U18’s in the final at the weekend.
A slight breeze eased the dry Maltese summer conditions for the 10 participating teams, including eight from Malta and 1 from sister island Gozo, as the All-Stars won through undefeated for the second successive year at Hamrun’s Victor Tedesco Stadium.
The festival saw the top two teams proceed to the final after a round-robin draw, and the All-Stars were tested early by the Falcons youths, but consolidated in the second half after taking a 3-1 lead into half-time.
For the All-Stars, Belinda Walmsley and Sarah O’Neill were best on field and Phill Browne was sharp, as the Pat Ginty led team of English, Irish and Australians, diverted all eyes to their pitch when putting in dominant displays in each of the 30-minute fixtures.
The Falcons, in finishing overall festival runners up and best mens team while made up of 16 to 18 year olds, also claimed the best domestic team award, players Aaron Borg, Andrew Vella and 14-year-old Andre Galea all making great contributions to the team according to coach Joe Borg.
This year’s festival, where a highly social element of the sport was greatly promoted throughout also an opening night bar crawl and final night boat party, saw a clear growth in local participation numbers, three entries under the Birkirkara rugby union arm alone, Gozo Rugby Club making their second appearance in as many years, and even Hilton Malta’s LivingWell Health Club not to be outdone when they entered a mixed team of largely no experience that surprised all when they recorded a second-up win.
Sliema Stompers Ladies featured in their first competitive outing and recorded a victory against the Knights invitational entry, Kavallieri RFC Youths and The Pit both scoring a win and loss, while festival organisers Boom Events – on behalf of Malta Tag Rugby, thanked volunteers, players, supporters and major sponsor – the Nordic Bar, and partners Dove Men+Care and the Malta Rugby League (MRL) for their valuable support of the festival's second edition.
2012 Malta International Tag Rugby Festival Standings: 1) Try Tag Rugby All-Stars, 2) Birkirkara Falcons U18’s, 3) Kavallieri RFC Youths, 4) LivingWell Health Club, 5) Gozo Rugby Club, 6) The Pit, 7) The Knights, 8) Sliema Stompers Ladies, 9) Birkirkara RFC, 10) Birkirkara OLI.
For pictures from this year's Malta International Tag Rugby Festival, click here.