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Rugby: Marbella pay host to Gibraltar this weekend

Gibraltar will face Marbella Rugby Club this weekend. A win for Gibraltar is a must as Portuense, their nearest rivals, this weekend beat Marbella by 42-0. (pictured: Marbella pitch)

Click here to read the report from the last match between Marbella and Gibraltar, which Gibraltar won by a narrow 3 points.

Read the excellent match report from the Portuense v Gibraltar game:

John Smiths Gibraltar Rugby Club sponsored by Peninsula Petroleum is now sitting joint-top of the Andalucian league with a convincing win over the previous league leaders CR Atletico Portuense on Sunday 17th December. The Gibraltar team were unstoppable, trouncing the opposition 40-11. The display of rugby was a delightful show for the home crowd, which is growing week on week.

The Gibraltar team again came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders. The Gibraltar pack was strong, robust and rampant in all aspects of their game, they created and finished the first try without CR Atletico Portuense even coming within a whisper of touching the ball. Joint Man of the match Chris Lyons crashed over to score the first try within 10 minutes of the kick off after the Gibraltar forwards through Chad Thomson and the other joint Man of the Match, Owain Richards, carried the ball for some good yards. Score Gibraltar 5 Puerto 0. Chris Gillighan kicked the conversion to make it 7-0.

Despite this possession and the territory, Gibraltar started to relax and rest on their laurels. Portuense came back strongly to kick a penalty. Gibraltar stunned by this resumed to press CR Atletico Portuense only for Portuense to intercept a pass from the Gibraltar centres and score a breakaway try. 8-7 Puerto, they missed their conversion.

Gibraltar restarted and it was a great retrieve from Owain Richards who marched up the pitch with 2 or 3 Portuense players hanging off of his back. His powerful run set scrum-half Nick Cruz in motion with a sniping run around the flank. The forwards and in particular Barry Imms cleared out the rucks quickly to give the backs ball, however on this occasion the backs failed to capitalise on the possession.

The forwards in their dominant mood set the backs away again, this time for Chris Gillighan to round off the move with a try under the posts. He converted his own try to make it 14-8.

The pressure was now on the then league leaders CR Atletico Portuense, fortunately for Gibraltar they could not produce or react to anything near good enough to break the Gibraltar defence. Gibraltar snapped up a try from their half of the pitch when Michael Galpin galloped up the touch to pass inside to Nick Cruz for Nick to sprint the remaining 30 metres under the posts. Chris Gillighan converted to take the lead to 21-8 and with the game slip away from Portuense.

Owain Richards finally got on to the score sheet after an impressive 1st half to take the lead to 26-8. Gibraltar with fuel in the tank pressed their advantage with Ross Eatwell and Paul Howard pinning the opposition into their half with great corner kicks. Joey Holliday had another impressive game plucking the opposition ball from out of the air in the lineout. Thomas de Corbier also had a great game covering from the opposite side of the pitch to save a try. Portuense pulled 3 points back through a penalty, but they were never going to catch Gibraltar.

Michael Galpin finally made it on to the score sheet after an up and under from John Dibb bounced fortunately in the Portuense in-goal area. Michael pounced on the bobbling ball to take Gibraltar out of reach of the chasing Puerto team. John Dibb converted the kick to make it 33-8. Fly-half Ross Eatwell finished off the try scoring fest with a chip and chase that was again converted by John Dibb. This made John Smiths Gibraltar rugby club sponsored by Peninsula Petroleum 40 CR Atletico Portuense 11. Substitutes Wayne Tunbridge, Rob Uphill, Andy Blackburn and Gary Primmer also had great games when they came on.

The Gibraltar Rugby Club would like to thank Fly-half Ross Eatwell for his support and dedication to rugby over these past few years. Ross is returning to Zimbabwe in the New Year and this was his last game for the club. The club wish Ross all the best for the future.

This is the half way point in the season for Gibraltar Rugby with the league finishing in February moving into play-offs early March and cup matches also starting in March. The club as always would like to thank their generous sponsors, Peninsula Petroleum, Taylor Woodrow, John Smiths and Flaherty’s of Sotogrande for keeping them afloat and supplying them with training and match equipment.

And finally Gibraltar Rugby would like to wish all our supporters and families a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.

Team: Chris Lugnani, Adrian Perera, Nick Ramagge, Chad Thomson, Joey Holiday, Owain Richards, Barry Imms, Chris Lyons, Nick Cruz, Ross Eatwell, Thomas De Corbier, Paul Howard, John Dibb, Michael Galpin, Chris Gillighan, Wayne Tunbridge, Andy Blackburn, Rob Uphill, Gary Primmer, Alan Jensen,

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