TWO Group Seven products have starred for the Maltese national side, as they cruised to a 36-10 win against the Philippines in their Rugby League Emerging Nationals World Championships opener at the Windsor Sporting Complex.
(min cost $8)
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Malta, featuring Jamberoo’s Jono Dallas and Warilla-Lake South’s Emanuel Sultana, took just four minutes to record the match’s opening try, when Kyle Cassel broke through and offloaded to Nathan Benson – who scored the first try of the championships.
The lead was doubled soon after when Sam Stone used some fancy footwork on his way to the line – as Benson converted both tries for 12-nil after as many minutes.
Kyle Cassel stretched the lead out to 16 for the Knights before the Philippines scored their first try of the match through Jordan Bien, after a sharp pass from Marc Russell.
Bien converted for the Tamaraws, to reduce the lead to 10.
But that was as close as they got, as a try to Justin Rodrigues made it 20-6 at half-time.
Malta opened the second half the same way they started the first, as Kyle and Tyler Cassell combined, for the former to score.
Benson’s kick saw the lead grow out to 20 points.
Philippine’s Blake Mackay, a Milton-Ulladulla product, then took advantage of some spread play by his side, allowing him to acrobatically score in the corner – making it 26-10.
Two late tries from Malta’s Jake Attard and Kyle Cassel sealed the win for the Knights – starting their Rugby League Emerging Nationals World Championships in perfect fashion.
Malta next play Niue on Thursday, October 4 at St Marys, while the Philippines will clash with the same opponent three days later at Cabramatta.
Both Warilla-Lake South’s Ian Catania and Nowra-Bomaderry's Nathan Falzon are also in the Malta squad but are currently injured.
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