22 Jun 2014

H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, will meet the Malta national rugby league team on Saturday 28 June.

The President will be introduced to players and staff by national coach Anthony Micallef and national captain Chris Parker ahead of Malta’s opening RLEF European Championship C clash against Greece along with the Greek national rugby league team and the RLEF match officials controlling the match led by Serbian referee Radoslav Novakovic.

The Maltese completed their warm-up fixtures, the third over the last four weeks, against the touring Emerging Young Lions last night at the Melita ground.

Led by coach Kevin Thompson, the touring Lions team had no troubles in disposing of the Maltese 88-0 over 80 minutes in a match controlled by Super League match official Warren Turley.

Earlier in the week, the Lions were represented with two teams; the Cowboys and Pirates, in the MRL Nines against two local Maltese teams. In all, the visitors crossed for 13 tries to nil across five matches against the Maltese.

Last night at the Melita ground, Kieran Jones was named player of the match while for the Maltese, national team prop Dragan Cerketa was the strongest in what coach Anthony Micallef labelled a humiliation.

“We were bad, very bad. And they were very good. But a number of our guys didn’t turn up tonight” said Micallef.

“We can point the finger at having six to seven players unavailable tonight through injury or that it was an all domestic based team, but seven or eight of the guys tonight just didn’t turn up. I expected better, we expected better, they expected better”

The Malta XIII’s last warm-up was an 86-14 loss to the West Yorkshire Police meanwhile players have spent the last two months with their clubs contesting the MRL Championship where reigning premiers Malta Origin RL have already qualified for the Grand Final which will be played after the summer.

All the other four teams; the Eagles, Gozo, Team Pit and Stompers, are still mathematically a chance at qualifying for the MRL Grand Final while Malta Origin are looking for a clean-sweep following their MRL Cup and MRL Super Cup wins last month.

Malta will have only four non-domestic players in their squad against Greece and the Czech Republic and their overseas players fly in from Wednesday morning.

 Micallef last week added former Malta international Graham Attard and Peter Ingham to the train-on squad that will be cut to 20 this Wednesday.