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Updated: Malta women’s 7s move one win away from Rugby Europe Conference 1 semis

The Malta women’s 7s team are just one win away from reaching the semi-finals of the Rugby Europe Conference 1 competition that is currently being played in Belgrade.

Carmelo Longo’s girls chalked up their second win of the day when they brushed aside Estonia /-/ to put themselves in a favourable position to reach the last four of the competition.

The Maltese have now amassed four points from three matches and on Saturday morning they face a decisive clash against a strong Swiss side, who are still unbeaten in the competition, with the winners progressing to the semi-final stage.

Jacqueline Richard put Malta on their way with a storming run early on.

Although the Estonians managed to pull level, the Maltese kept fighting and further tries from Caroline Gafa and Myra Bonello sealed a convincing victory for the Maltese.

Earlier, the Malta women’s 7s team endured a mixed start as Carmelo Longo’s girls, fresh from their silver medal won at the 2023 GSSE, could not have hoped for a better start when they kicked off their commitments with a convincing 17-7 win over Luxembourg.

Myra Bonello and Jacqueline Richard scored a try each in the first half while Marion Azzopardi added a conversion to give Longo’s girls a 12-7 lead at the end of the first half.

Luxembourg tried to fight back in the second half and piled the pressure on the Maltese defence but they simply could not go through and it was the Maltese who struck again through a try by Maria Spiteri to seal victory.

In the second match, Malta found the going tougher against GSSE gold medallists Andorra.

After conceding an early try, the Maltese girls broke into life when Jacqueline Richard embarked on a mazy run to place the ball underneath the posts. Azzopardi converted to give the team a 7-5 lead.

However, the Andorrans showed their quality as after scoring a second try just before the break, they imposed themselves after the break to score two more tries to seal a 22-7 victory.

The top two teams in the competition win promotion to the Trophy division, which is the second-tier on the continent.

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