HMS ILLUSTRIOUS recently visited Malta
During her time alongside the ships company played a high profile Rugby Union match against the Malta national 2nds side. With some Malta first team players benefiting from super 12 experience, the quality percolated down to a well drilled and fit 2nds team, who had just returned from an unbeaten tour to Europe, including a 57-0 away win over CUS Messina. The game, on Wednesday 23 November 2005, was their last before heading off on tour to Italy. The ships side played tremendously well, buoyed by an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd. The game was very hard and physical and it was 2 break away tries that made the difference to the overall score. Our lack of ball handling time within the backs let us down when we had try scoring opportunities, but the forwards really took the game to them. The game was reported in the local press as follows. MALTA 'A' outmuscle crewmen The Malta 'A' team yesterday overcame the stiff challenge of the HMS ILLUSTRIOUS rugby side after beating the visiting crewmen 30-10 in a friendly at the Marsa ground. Damien Neill's squad, formed of players from the domestic league only, had to dig deep into their reserves before finding a way past the visitors who proved to be difficult opponents with their physical approach. For Malta 'A' Malcolm Attard charged over the line twice with other tries coming from Mathew Mirabellii, Daniel Grima and Roderick Attard. Sean Childs CPOPT P.S After 10 years of giving up the sport, I resumed playing for the Ship only to retire again, this time for good. The body isn't conditioned to take the knocks like it used to do and I'm still in pain nearly 10 days later. I will never laugh at the lads in the Changing Rooms again when I see them all wearing protective pads and head gear. What happened to the good ole days of vaseline, a gumshield and magic sponge?