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Rugby: Gibraltar squeeze past Marbella RC

Gibraltar's rugby club managed to squeeze past Marbella Rugby club this weekend by a narrow 13-10 .

This is on the back of a defeat against a very strong team from Puerto De Santa Maria (Portuense). The division, II Regional A , is certainly a harder prospect than any of the other II divisions. Marbella alone were fighting for promotion in last year's Primera Regional until they were diqualified and subsequently, demoted .

This victory against a very strong side and the reality of a tight division, will certainly give Campo Gibraltar the confidence boost they need for the rest of the season.

Click here to view the other results from the diviosn along with the league table.

The ‘Peninsula Petroleum’ 15, Gibraltar’s Rugby team, won their 2nd fixture in the Andalucian 2nd Division on Sunday 19th November. John Smiths Gibraltar beat Marbella 13-10 in what was a hard fought, scrappy performance. From the kick-off the Gibraltar’s pack dominated set-piece and the break-down with some great work from hooker Chris Lugianni and open-side Barry Imms winning ball in the loose. Gibraltar’s game plan was to be the first on the score-board and after 15 minutes of dogged tackling and constant pressure, Gibraltar came away with 5 points after Marbella conceded a penalty. Gibraltar took advantage of the penalty and instead of opting for the 3 points put a kick into touch. Number 8 Chad Thomson took a clean catch at the lineout and set up for a driving maul. It was a great pack effort driving Marbella 10 meters to their goal line, Nick Cruz dived between the feet of the Marbella pack to register his first try of the season.

After Marbella’s restart Gibraltar carried on marching deep into opposition territory. It was now the backs turn to show off with Paul Howard making his return at inside centre and Phillip ‘Taff’ Parsell at outside centre, interchanging to put fullback Chris Gilligham through a gap to gain some important yards. A constant supply of possession from the Pack and James Russo at scrum-half allowed man of the match Ross Eatwell to orchestrate proceedings from fly-half.

Unfortunately, an injury to scrum-half James Russo led to his substitution, debutant replacement Jamie Cook jumped straight into action. With great use of the ball and some faint handling Julian Leigh popped over in the corner to put Gibraltar 10-0 ahead with 10 minutes to go in the first half.

Gibraltar continued to suffer from white line fever whilst camped on the opposition line and failed to turn territory and possession into further points. However, ill discipline from the Gibraltar pack led to Marbella making their way into the Gibraltar 22 for the first time in the game. Marbella took 3 points from another penalty bang in front of the posts. Half - time 10-3 to John Smiths Gibraltar Rugby Club sponsored by Peninsula Petroleum.

The second half started as the first half had with the Gibraltar team steam-rolling up the field with powerful runs from 2nd rows Rob Uphill and Wayne ‘Train’ Tunbridge. Aggressive scrummaging from props Nick Ramagge and Mark Cooper forced Marbella to concede another penalty. Chris Gillingham converted to add a further 3 points around the 50 minute mark.

Marbella refused to lie down, putting Gibraltar under constant pressure from the restart. It would seem that members of the Gibraltar pack thought the game was in the bag and flickers of tactical naivety from the backs helped Marbella back into the game showing Gibraltar why they had won the last fixture the previous season. The biggest downfall of the Gibraltar team was their continued indiscipline. Penalty after penalty was conceded and at one stage were marched 30 meters back up the pitch for indiscipline. It was only a matter of time before Marbella registered their first try of the game after being unluckily disallowed one in the corner and it came with about 10 minutes left to play, the try was converted and the scores were 13-10.

Alarm bells started to ring and some much needed urgency was needed. John Dibb, making his long awaited return from injury, dragged the Gibraltar team back into the Marbella half where Gibraltar remained camped until the final whistle. Good performances from Winger Thomas de Corbier and Nick Ramagge who led the scrums need to be mentioned.

We would like to thank our main sponsors Peninsula Petroleum and our ever loyal John Smith for their constant sponsorship. In addition I would like to thank Flaherty’s Irish Bar of Sotogrande and our rugby ball Taylor Woodrow.

Gibraltar rugby team that played against Marbella: Nick Ramagge, Chris Lugnani, Mark Cooper, Wayne Tunbridge, Rob Uphill, Nick Cruz, Barry Imms, Chad Thomson, James Russo, Ross Eatwell, Paul Howard, Phillip Parsell, Thomas De Corbier, Julian Leigh, Chris Gillighan, John Dibb, James Cook, Alan Esler, Peter Lugnani, Albert Loddo, Owain Richards.

Gibraltar’s next match will be at Guadiaro on December the 2nd in a local derby match against San Roque Rugby Club. Support is very much welcome. For more information on Gibraltar Rugby please contact James Russo at

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