Malta maintained their proud unbeaten home record by defeating Lancashire amateurs Bamber Bridge ARLFC 36-28.
Hamrun’s Victor Tedesco Stadium came to life with rugby league action and the English crashed over on the right flank when their attack found numbers and Danny Kisane opened the scoring after nine minutes of play.
Former Sharks hooker Luke Sant exploded into the game crossing twice in five minutes with Roderick Attard adding the extras to take an eight point advantage.
Barnstorming English second rower Jamie Jackson then edged his team closer with a try on half time but Damian Duncan missed with his second successive attempt.
After an opening half filled with monstrous hits and high physicality, the second half opened up.
Gateshead Thunder prop Christopher Parker, on debut for Malta, crossed to begin a 23-minute rout of the visitors that was only split when lock Lee Cadwallader broke the Maltese defence.
In an exciting half of rugby league, Cardiff Demons centre Paul Bartlett dismantled his opposite number with blistering speed and evasive skills to run in two tries.
Roderick Attard also scored his own try and converted to take a personal tally of 14 points for the Kalkara rugby player.
Attard added after the match, “It was exciting and enjoyable and it’s a pity we can’t play rugby league more often, week in-week out”
“After this match and Malta’s performance, I think more people will appreciate the game of rugby league”
Attard said he was honoured at the international cap and the opportunity to play and mix with Maltese players such as the likes that are playing professionally and in higher league’s abroad”
Damian Duncan was among Bamber Bridge’s best and youthful Malta centre Mark Cortis and backrower Daryl Psaila impressed on their national team debuts.
Malta caretaker coach Anthony Micallef was delighted with the promising signs shown in the win.
“There were a number of players out there playing their first ever game of rugby league and the potential they showed is more than an encouraging sign for the future of rugby in this country” said Micallef.
The win was Malta’s third from as many internationals in Malta since 2005.
Malta 36 (Sant 2, Bartlett 2, Parker, R.Attard tries. R.Attard 5 from 5, Parker goal) defeated
Bamber Bridge ARLFC 28
Victor Tedesco Stadium, Hamrun, Malta
Referee: Mr Phillip Browne (Aus)