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Malta National Rugby Team - Malta vs Poland 5/8/2008

Action shot from Malta vs Latvia game played on 17th November 2007.
Malta beat Latvia 16 – 13

For the third time in Malta rugby’s short but exciting and successful history, the National team, sponsored by Cisk Lager, will play Poland at Hibs Ground, Kordin on Saturday 10th May 2008 at 3pm.

Poland, ranked 36th in the IRB World Rankings have been in Malta, preparing for this game since Sunday 4th May and have a 4-point lead in FIRA Div 2B. Their latest match was played in Poland against Latvia, with the final score of 55 – 0, clearly showing their superior skills and strength.

Malta, currently ranked 53rd, have two matches left in this group, Saturday’s against Poland and the last match of the group against Andorra on the 17th May, which is a virtual ‘decider’ to remain in Div 2B.

The National Team has been in England for a training camp in preparation for these two matches since Saturday 3rd May and will look at improving performance against the mighty Polish team. In the past, Poland has beaten Malta twice, the first time in Malta and was largely due to some unforced errors while the second time in Poland, Malta was defeated after some very good pressure by the hosts.

The referee for Saturday’s match will be Italian Paolo Ventura who has top level experience both in Italy as well as in European Cups. This will be his first time controlling the Maltese National Team, however it seems to suit the Maltese when we have an experienced referee.

The two matches will decide who will form Div 2B for the next two seasons since it is already known that the Netherlands will be demoted from Div 2A while Sweden will be promoted from Div 3A. This group will also decide who will qualify for the Rugby World Cup 2011 qualifying rounds that have already started in other parts of the world, namely Trinidad & Tobago where the first matches were played a few weeks ago.

Saturday will hopefully once again prove that our home crowd can make a difference and surprise the opposition as has happened several times in recent years. Many times visiting sides have commented how taken aback they were when they came onto the pitch before kick-off, and of course our boys know all too well that the support given by the Maltese crowd with the help of the South End Core makes this a special occasion for all those present.