17 May 2012

The first Maltese club championship kicked off on Wednesday night, with all four teams - Malta Origin, Sliema Stompers, Gozo and Kavallieri - in action at Balzan FC. Malta Origin and Sliema came out the victors in the Dove Men+Care Championship, beating Gozo 40-32 and Kavallieri 58-46 respectively.

Malta Development Manager Anthony Micallef was extremely pleased with the evening: "I am overall quite satisfied with match-day, in fact I am very happy. This is the first 'real' MRL Championship we've had on the Maltese Islands. Tonight, was a step in the right direction for the local rugby league scene in Malta; four clubs, one of those from Gozo, playing out two exciting and high scoring fixtures in our revamped MRL Dove Men+Care Championship for 2012.

 "Sliema Stompers labelled themselves as one of the teams to beat and Gozo marked a great improvement from last season but it is equally as exciting that a number of players are using the championship as an honest platform for national team selection."

Sliema Stompers player-coach Malcolm Attard said his team has big hopes for the Dove Men+Care Championship. “After a shaky start tonight, we found our footing and started working the sets and breaking down the opposition defence” said Attard. “All the boys enjoyed the experience of playing the new code and we are looking to build to grow in this competition game by game.”

Local TV channel Super 1 reported on the games, which will appear in their weekly sports magazine programme.

Pictured: centre Matthew Camilleri scored four tries for the Stompers.