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Match Report: Africa United vs. Mediterranean

Africa United vs. Mediterranean

Luke Jobson
Rugby League Around the Grounds

Mediterranean–Middle East have shot to the outright lead in the Confederation Championship after defeating Africa United 35-18 at Windsor Sports Complex.

Both teams had ample chances, with errors and penalties costing the sides the chance to attack in the opening stages.

Ten minutes in though, the Mediterranean side posted first points.

A lovely cut out ball from Husam Rafai saw Addison Demetriou slice through a screaming gap as the United defence tried to snuff out the play.

Rafai collected the ball back on the inside to score underneath the posts and Demetriou converted to make it 6-0 after 12 minutes.

The Mediterranean side would nearly go the length of the field on the next set, only for Omair Khan to put his foot on the touch line as he got the ball from dummy-half a metre out.

Errors hampered Africa United as they tried to work out of their own half, and it would come back to bite them dearly.

Christian Tarabey took the ball to the line off a scrum 20 metres out for Mediterranean–Middle East before offloading a suspect ball to his centre partner Ahmed Kassem who crossed untouched to score just left of the uprights, leaving the United team scrambling.

Demetriou made no mistake with the goal kick to push the score to 12-0 after 20 minutes.

An error from the kick-off gave Africa United a prime chance to attack the line, earning a few repeat sets through penalties and forced errors.

With a little persistence, United got on the scoreboard through their captain Stemon Mow.

He received the ball close to the line and with a beautiful right step, dragged three defenders over the line to score.

Obed Karwhin added the extras to reduce the margin to 12-6.

The Mediterranean side was gifted a golden opportunity straight off the kick-off thanks to a first tackle error from United, and they capitalised from the scrum.

Husam Rafai notched his second try assist for the match as his inside ball to Demetriou resulted in the skipper breaking two tackles and scoring underneath the posts.

Demetriou, a little worse for wear after his try, converted to make it 18-6 after thirty minutes.

Another error early in the set from the Mediterranean gave United a chance to hit straight back, and they did so through Obed Karwhin.

Karwhin took an inside ball and powerfully barged his way over the line from close-range to put United within striking distance.

He then nailed a beautiful conversion from the left-hand touchline to make it 18-12 with less than five minutes left in the first half.

The sides tried to create opportunities with the boot during the last five minutes, but the score remained locked at 18-12 heading into the break.

It would be Mediterranean–Middle East who enjoyed all the possession early in the second half, with plenty of field position deep in African territory.

They would end up scoring after to a mistake by United, Omair Khan being the beneficiary on the right-hand touchline.

With Demetriou on the bench injured, Husam Rafai took over the goal-kicking and missed his first attempt to leave it at 22-12 after 49 minutes.

Africa United sent the ball out on the full from the kick off, and Mediterranean-Middle East would take full advantage of it.

Husam Rafai produced a lovely cross-field bomb on the last tackle, with Hillal Kara-Ali pulling off a juggling catch to plant the ball down just inside the left-hand sideline for a spectacular try.

Christian Tarabey assumed the goal-kicking reins and landed a lovely swinging conversion to blow the score out to 28-12 with just under half an hour to go.

Michael James would nearly hit back straight away for Africa United, taking a beautiful overhead mark from a Rafai kick and running 60 metres – only to be dragged down metres out from the try-line.

Africa United couldn’t take advantage of that break, losing the ball on the next play in an accurate showing of the luck they had so far.

It wasn’t long before Africa made their possession count, however, with Mow grabbing a double from an untouched run underneath the posts.

There was a little bit of bustling and barging between the teams after the put down and the incident was put on report.

Karwhin converted from in front to leave the game poised at 28-18 with 24 minutes left.

The United side had a few opportunities close to the line to bring the game back to within a converted try, but errors and penalties cruelled their progress.

The Mediterraneans soon landed a telling blow, with Khoder Mitawri managing to plant the ball down underneath the posts despite the presence of three defenders underneath him.

Christian Tarabey kicked the goal from in front to seemingly seal the game with fifteen minutes to go at 34-18.

Mediterranean–Middle East almost notched one more try, but it was deemed that Mitawri kicked the ball into his teammate who was in an offside position.

As the siren sounded, Husam Rafai slotted a beautiful field goal from 35 metres out to give the Mediterraneans a convincing 35-18 win over Africa United.

It leaves Africa with a 1-1 record as they finish up their pool matches, while Mediterranean–Middle East have one more bout against ASEAN in two days’ time.

Africa United – 18
Tries – Stemon Mow (2), Obed Karwhin
Goals – Obed Karwhin (3)

Mediterranean – Middle East – 35
Tries – Addison Demetriou (2), Ahmed Kassem, Omair Khan, Hillal Kara-Ali, Khoder Mitawri
Goals – Addison Demetriou (3), Christian Tarabey (2)
Field Goal – Husam Rafai

Team Lists:

Africa United Mediterranean
Obed Karwhin Fullback Hillal Kara-Ali
Mun Mapiou Wing Omair Khan
Gak Riec Centre Ahmed Kassem
Michael James Centre Addison Demetriou
Moung Dut Wing Hamza Anwer
Safawo Eggu Five-eighth Christian Tarabey
Valere Moise Halfback Husam El Refaai
Aden Perry Prop Isaac Prokopiou
Stemon Mow Hooker Khoder Mitwari
Danyal Dut Prop Luka Fredotovic
Samuel Karwhin Second Row Josh Fraser
Benjamin Jegede Second Row Jad Mahmoud
Alphonso Payne Lock Ronny Palumbo
Isaac Akuoko Interchange Costa Charalambous
Frederick Solo Interchange Ahmed Rezai
Marvin Mendy Interchange Ali Ellaz
Jordan Adebumowa Interchange Matthew Mesann