David Yates reports fit for duty…
Kieron and I returned from Malta on Monday relatively unscathed!! We were shown exceptional hospitality by our hosts throughout our stay from the minute we were collected at the airport.
On Saturday, before Kierons match, we watched two womens 7s matches. Womens rugby is becoming more and more popular on the island.
We also met Steve Busuttil who came to Manchester on Exchange 9 years ago and he talked fondly of his visit.
Kieron refereed the match between the top two sides on the island, Stompers v Overseas, which was, perhaps, a little short on skill but extremely physical. I would probably suggest that the teams would sit at the top end of level seven or maybe the bottom end of level six. Both sides contained a few very good players and the commitment was outstanding.
The match was recorded by the local TV station and I believe clips are available but I should be sent a link to the entire match at some point. It should also show Kieron being interviewed for the telly at the end of the game!
I should say at this point that Kieron had a very good match. He dealt with everything that was in front of him in a clam and controlled manner and had to issue two, well deserved, yellow cards. Both teams and the officials from both clubs, together with the senior members of the MRFU were very complimentary about his performance and rightly so.
After Kierons match, I watched one of the Maltese referees taking charge of a development game. This was teams from two junior clubs who are making great efforts to get more people into our sport. I will complete a report on the referees performance and send it to him and his mentor.
Lionel da Silva, who was the person who looked after us in the main, is excited about coming over to Manchester in April and I believe he has been appointed to a level 6 game.