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Malta 7s crush Croatia to secure fifth place at Rugby Europe Conference League

The Malta women’s 7s team secured fifth place in the Rugby Europe Conference 1 after brushing aside Croatia 27-0 in Belgrade on Saturday.

It was a very impressive performance from Carmelo Longo’s girls, who as the scoreline shows, they simply were too good for their Croatian opponents as they run riot throughout the match.

Caroline Gafa and Rodianne Bugeja set the team on their way with early tries with Marion Azzopardi adding the conversion to hand the team 12-0.

The Croatians response failed to arrive and the Maltese went on to add three more tries through Bugeja, Azzopardi and Bonello to wrap up a very commendable display in this championship.

Carmelo Longo’s girls had ended the first day of competition on Friday with a commanding victory over Estonia that put the team in a clash against Switzerland, with the winner advancing to the semi-finals.

However, the Swiss side proved too strong for Longo’s girls as after Jacqueline Richard had scored an early try for the Maltese, Switzerland fought back strongly to score four tries without replay to suffer a 22-5 defeat.

That left Malta sharing fifth spot with Croatia on eight points and they had to play two positional play-offs to secure fifth place.

Malta faced Montenegro and the Maltese girls showed all their scoring prowess with a rampant display as they brushed aside Montenegro 35-10

Jacqueline Richard was the stand-out performer for Malta after scoring three tries with the other scorers for Malta being Mireya Bugeja, who grabbed two tries, and Marion Azzopardi who picked up three conversions.

Meanwhile, Malta’s men’s team also kicked off their commitments in the tournament on Saturday.

The Maltese, winners of a silver medal in the 2023 GSSE, are without some key personnel as the Holloway brothers, Thomas and Rob, are both unavailable while Josh Gatt is out injured.

On Saturday, the Maltese suffered back-to-back defeats against Austria (19-7) and Norway (17-5).

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