Falcons start the year with a win

Falcons kick off on a glorious sunny day with the crosswind giving no advantage to either side. Kavallieri almost immediately get the chance to open the scoring when they are awarded a penalty on the 22 – metre line after a counter-attack, but Darren Edmonds sends his kick wide to the right. Falcons recover well from the early Kavallieri foray and set up an attack on their opposition’s 10 -metre line. Two penalties are awarded against Kavallieri in quick succession, the first being taken quickly and resulting in a ruck and a Kavallieri infringement. Julian Galea opts to kick the second penalty into touch on the 22-metre line. Falcons win the lineout and Bjorn Micallef tries to spin it along the line, but his pass is batted down by a Kavallieri hand. The powerful Falcons forwards set a perfect platform for scrum half Galea, who breaks down the blind side, where a non – existent Kavallieri defence allows him to run in and score unopposed. The conversion is missed and Falcons go 5 – 0 up.

Kavallieri try to move the ball out of their half and full back Brendan Dalton looks dangerous, making a number of jinking runs, but the Falcons have the upper hand in the scrums and win back a number of these against the head, pinning Kavallieri back in their own half. However, several unforced errors in handling along the line squander any advantage Falcons have gained in the set piece. Kavallieri get their second scoring opportunity from a penalty awarded for holding on, which is quickly taken by Darren Edmonds. He puts in a powerful run down the right wing, evading a diving tackle from Luke Cutajar and scores in the right-hand corner. Edmonds attempts to convert his own score, but misses, leaving the score tied at 5 all.

Falcons come storming back and their dominant forwards are turning the screw in the scrums and rucks, leading to pressure on the Kavallieri defence resulting in a string of penalties against them and a yellow card for Max Micallef. From the tap, the ball is spun right to Aaron Borg, who jinks through the Kavallieri defence to touch down under the posts. Galea converts to move Falcons ahead by 7. Kavallieri strike back quickly when Nick Horne puts in a storming run through the centre, aided by a weak covering tackle from the Falcons defence. Edmonds adds the two points to leave the scores tied 12 apiece at half time.

The second half sees a repeat of the dominance of the Falcons forwards, who time after time drive the Kavallieri scrum back on their own put – in, resulting in either a scrambled clearance or a turnover. Falcons nearly score from a fluid passage of play led by the influential Daniel Holliday, but knock on when just a metre off the try line. However, from another scrum against the head, Aaron Borg puts in a great break and is tap – tackled by Dalton, but recovers to continue his run, which carries him to the 5-metre line and Holliday powers over for the score. The conversion is missed.

Kavallieri then put in their final attack and Number 8 Erakovic makes a surging run and nearly scores, but is pulled down just short of the line and Falcons win a penalty in the ensuing ruck, allowing them to kick to safety. Falcons then score from a cleverly taken quick penalty by number 15 Jean Pierre Zarb after Kavallieri are penalised for holding on, and Galea converts to take the score to 24-12. With Falcons holding all the aces in the forwards, Julian Galea scores the best try of the game when, from yet another turnover in the scrum, he picks up and sidesteps, puts in a clever grubber kick, follows up and pounces on the bouncing ball to score. The conversion is missed and with no further scoring action, the game ends 29 – 12 in favour of Falcons.

 

Men of the match: Falcons: Julian Galea. Kavallieri: Brendán Dalton

Referee: Lionel Silva
Assistant Referees: Amanda Cassar & Sean Doublesin.

Write up: Phil Gibbs

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