Grima (25), M. Attard (30), Bonanno (46), Bartlett (58, 61)
Scmidt (12), Borsheim (21, 70), Mellor (39)
M. Attard 5/5
Meldalen 1/2, Ytterdahi Elgheim 1/2
Malta came from 10-0 down mid way through the first half to defeat a Norway XIII, 30-20 to take the Rugby League European Federation Bowl in Hamrun. Centre Paul Bartlett’s second try in just three minutes around the hour mark, to give the hosts a 28-14 lead proved to be the turning point; the Vikings finishing the game strongly, as they had started it but to no avail. Both sides were hugely encouraged by their competitive debuts, Norway second rower and try scorer Erik Sonny Mellor taking the man of the match award.
The Lillestrom Lion was quick to make an impact, capitalising on early home indiscipline to test the Maltese defensive line, his fine offload in the 12th minute sending club mate, prop Isaac Schmidt over to give the Vikings an early lead. Nine minutes later, Schmidt turned provider, sending in young Oslo City Seagull stand off Kristoffer Borsheim, Erlend Granly Meldalen converting.
Shocked at how well the underdogs were playing, Malta began to assert themselves, Parramatta hooker Charlie Bonnano sending skipper Daniel Grima over, Malcolm Attard goaling. Scrum half Attard went across four minutes later from another clever Bonnano pass, and his goal took the hosts into a narrow lead, but they suffered a double blow right on the stroke of half time.
First, experienced vice captain, Gateshead’s Chris Parker was shown a red card and immediate pressure by the visitors to exploit the extra man saw Mellor cross to give Norway a 14-12 interval lead.
Malta began the second period in determined fashion, Bonanno going over and Attard again on target with the extras as they began to dominate. Expansive interplay between the backs sent Cardiff Demon Bartlett in and he repeated the feat courtesy of a pass from Grima; Attard maintaining his perfect record with the boot.
Norway continued to press and finished the stronger, full back Glenn Patterson’s superb break seeing Borsheim over for his second touchdown, Kristian Ytterdahl Elgheim converting. In the final minute, Maltese second rower Clayton Cassar became the send Knight to receive his marching orders when he was dismissed for a high tackle.
Shaun Bartlett, Mark Seychell, Paul Bartlett, Mark Cortis, Jurgen Pavanello, Chris Morton, Malcolm Attard, Chris Parker, Charlie Bonanno, Paul Borg, Joss Howland, Clayton Cassar, Daniel Grima (c). Subs: Peter Bradley, Graham Attard, Clifford Debattista, Matthew Von Brockdorff
Glenn Patterson, Trim Alexander Vindahl, Bjorn Mikkelsen, Fredrik Skovly (c), Kristian Ytterdahl Elgheim, Kristoffer Borsheim, Peter Engeland, Magne Kleven, Anders Linnesta, Isaac Schmidt, Cameron Leslie, Erik Sonny Mellor, Erlend Granly Meldalen. Subs: Erland Roysum, Joshua William Skidmore Hornby, Tommy Kjoniksen, Jorgen Lund Schmidt