The Malta rugby national team will be keen to preserve their three-year unbeaten record when on Saturday they take on Bosnia Herzegovina in their second match from Conference 1 South.
Damian Neill’s boys come into the match in high spirits after opening the new campaign on a winning note when battling past Israel 21-14 in Netanya, on Saturday.
It was the perfect way to start their bid for a hat-trick of Conference 1 South titles but coach Damian Neill is not underestimating the threat posed by Bosnia Herzegovina and warned his players that they could be in for a difficult afternoon.
“I’m quite pleased with our performance against Israel at the weekend as the match turned out to be a real test of character for the players and they managed to go through it with flying colours,” Neill said.
“Israel put us under a lot of pressure, especially when we found ourselves with a player down in the final stages of the match. But the players showed great composure to ensure we start the campaign on a winning note.
“Now Bosnia are next, and I expect a completely different challenge. They are a very physical side who can cause us a lot of problems so it’s important that we don’t underestimate them.”
Neill will be without a couple of first team players as Clayton Cassar and Harry Collins are ruled out by injuries. But Tom Holloway has recovered from the knock picked up on Saturday and should be available to start.
MRFU president Steve Busuttil hailed the resilience shown by the Maltese players on Saturday and is hopeful the team can preserve their strong home record against the Bosnians.
“I was really impressed with how our players kept their composure in very difficult circumstances,” Busuttil told a news conference.
“It was very important to start the campaign on the right footing and now we can look forward to another challenging encounter against Bosnia. Tickets are being sold at a very good rate and we encourage our fans to go online and get their tickets to make sure they are not left disappointed.”
Busuttil said that these international matches were a perfect window for their union to showcase the development of the game and he said he hoped that they can lure more support so they can further increase the level of the locally-based players.
“For us these international matches are very important as we can show to everyone the level of our players on the international scene,” Busuttil said.
“I’m pleased that our national team continues to deliver at this level and that is mirrored by the fact that we are unbeaten at home for the last three or four years.
“The union’s focus has now changed as we are looking to develop the local game thanks to the financial support of the Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima.
“There is no doubt that the results attained by the national team will attract more youngsters to the sport and hopefully we can receive more backing to further develop the potential that we possess in our country.”
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