|Sat Sep 06|
Big-name opponents have included Toulouse, Stade Francais, Racing Metro, London Welsh, Rosslyn Park, Amsterdam and Arabian Gulf Legends
Malta Marauders is comprised of both Maltese and expatriate players. Although many of the team members have retired from regular competition, some are still playing members of local league teams. Others are now refereeing or coaching
For more details, visit http://www.maltamarauders.com/
Dubai International 10s Veterans squad - 2012
Malta - based players
Kevin Bussutil, Patrice Debiere, Phil Gibbs, Joss Howland (capt), Jim Hunter, Pierre Mangion (mgr), Leo Mifsud, Brian Miller, AJ Thompson.
Oleg Baev, Stefan Ryderfelt, Aleksey Sabinin.Vitaly Sergamasov, Richard 'Red' Thompson, Jimmy Walker.
Malta Marauders 17, Arabian Gulf Legends 12
Marauders eclipse Legends in thrilling Dubai PPO Final
Malta Marauders were playing in the International Veterans 10s competition at the Dubai 7s for the first time. Two of the teams in the Pool stages included such prestigious players as Percy Montgomery, Jason Robinson, Henry Paul and Chris Sheasby.
Marauders managed to avoid the favourites in the draw, but finished fourth in their pool, and so progressed to the semi-final of the Provisional play – off on the second day. Here they met Cairo Old Crocs, and upped their game significantly to win the match 24 – 0, with captain Joss Howland bagging a spectacular hat-trick, and Jim Hunter also scoring a try, before having to leave the pitch injured.
The result took Marauders into a third-day final against the well-fancied Arabian Gulf Legends, a team of ex-international players from the Gulf States. Marauders went onto the pitch the underdogs, but from the first whistle shocked the opposition by the ferocity of their tackling and speed of distribution. The favourites were pinned down in their own half, and after five minutes of play, Marauders were rewarded for their efforts when Olieg Baev broke through the defensive line to score. Marauders kept up the pressure and, near the end of the first half, scored again when ‘Red’ Thompson used his speed to pierce the Legends line again. With one conversion, the half ended 12-0 to Marauders.
Legends started the second half strongly, and put Marauders under severe pressure, but they defended valiantly for most of the half, and counter – attacked strongly when they could, but twice let the Legends through to score, and at the full – time whistle the teams were tied at 12 all. The game went into 'sudden-death' extra time. Both sides battled ferociously to gain territorial advantage, and after 5 minutes, Legends number 6 broke through the defence on the half-way line and powered down the right wing. A try looked a certainty, until Jimmy Walker took him into touch with a magnificent tackle just 5 metres from the try line. Marauders won a penalty following the lineout and cleared their lines. They pushed upfield and out of danger and finally, after 7 minutes of extra time, Howland launched Thompson down the left wing to dart over for his second try. After a nail-biting finish, the jubilant Marauders claimed the final by 17 points to 12. Afterwards, Marauders President Phil Gibbs said that it was a ‘dream come true’ to take a team from Malta to the Dubai 7s, and to win the PPO final was the icing on the cake.