Saturday, April 30, 2011

TEST RUGBY: ENC 2A Croatia in Malta

Croatia v Malta in La Valette (ENC 2A)

Venue: Hibernians Stadium, Paola

Referee: F.Villegas (Spain)

Image thanks to

This is the second ENC 2A match of the weekend.

Croatia has a good record against Malta, winning twice in Malta in recent years. They have an impressive build up to this games with a 73-18 win against Italian Club Udine (Series A), and a 31-12 win against Hungary last weekend in Hungary in a friendly international.

Malta is ready to put right a disappointing 2010 according to Maltasport. ‘A number of players are back in the squad after previously missing out due to injury or unavailability. Luke Watts, Oliver Sacco, Josef Zahra and Vince Stivala return to fight for a place in the final line-up, to be announced at the Shirt Presentation on 29th April. New faces include Dragan Cerketa, Darren Deguara and James Kirk. Damian Neill has also called upon Noel Thomas as a Forwards Coach.’

Malta is struggling at the bottom of this competition with two games for two losses. The article below indicates injury problems and the fact that against a team like Croatia, Malta needs to be at full strength.

Other Previews

Last Five Encounters
31.10.2009 Croatia 34-14 in Split (ENC 2B)
25.10.2008 Croatia 18-16 in Marsa (WCQ Europe R3; ENC 2B)
10.11.2007 Croatia 24-9 in Makarska (ENC 2B)
04.11.2006 Croatia 40-18 in Marsa (ENC 2B)
15.04.2006 Malta 26-15 in Marsa (WCQ Europe R3, Pool B)

Malta Last Five
06.11.2010 v Latvia L 26-33 in La Valette (ENC 2A)
30.10.2010 v Lithuania L 6-9 in Siauliai (ENC 2A)
24.04.2010 v Latvia W 27-10 in Paola (ENC 2B)
17.04.2010 v Netherlands L 0-19 in Amsterdam (ENC 2B)
07.11.2009 v Sweden W 25-13 in Paola (ENC 2B)

Croatia Last Five
20.10.2010 v Latvia W 14-12 in Riga (ENC 2A)
23.10.2010 v Sweden L 13-32 in Split (ENC 2A)
01.05.2010 v Sweden L 14-17 in Enkoping (ENC 2B)
24.04.2010 v Netherlands W 16-14 in Split (ENC 2B)
31.10.2009 v Malta W 34-13 in Split (ENC 2B)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Croatia 20th, Malta 23rd

IRB Ranking Points
Croatia 48.15, Malta 44.44

Prediction: Croatia by 7 points



Malta Squad
O. Sacco, J. Howland, D. Busuttil, C. Sammut, T. Holloway, R. Holloway, A. Livesey, J. O’Brien, D. Holliday, M. Davey, A. Dixon, H. Collins, K. Mason, N. Gatt, C. Cassar, J. Kirk, D. Deguara, M. Camilleri, L. Watts, I. Borda, S. Borg, P. Calgaro, M. Galea, D. Cerketa, V. Stivala, C. Vassallo, J. Zahra, T. Pace Moore.

Overseas-based players
‘Among the new players in the squad are Darren Deguara, of English club Barry RFC, James Kirk (Hull RFC), Dragan Cerketa (Stompers) and Chris Vassallo who plies his trade for new Malta champions Kavallieri.’



Mate Borozan (RK Nada)
Caleb Brown (Foreign club)
Tomislav Burazin (RK Nada)
Tonći Buzov (RK Nada)
Goran Čulić (RK Nada)
Dominik Draženović (RK Mladost)
Ante Drazina (Olympic Club Rugby, USA)
Tomislav Gomuzak (RK Zagreb)
Duje Grubisic (RK Nada)
Dušan Hakaria (Foreign club)
Luka Jureško (RK Zagreb)
Nik Jurišić (RK Mladost)
Francis Marcic (RK Nada)
Andrej Mihalj (RK Mladost)
Filip Mijić (RK Zagreb)
Mislav Milanović (RK Nada)
Miroslav Mandic (RK Nada)
Simon Rezo (Foreign club)
Sasha Sekovanec (RK Nada)
Vinko Udovičić (RK Zagreb)
Filip Ujaković (RK Mladost)
Ivan Zelic (RK Zagreb)
Head Coach: Dennis Puljiz

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