Malta down North Macedonia in men's rugby league international

Malta defeated North Macedonia 22-18 in a men’s senior international for world ranking points at Forshaw Park, Sylvania Waters, near Sydney.

The sides were level 12-all at the break in a hard-fought contest, Malta winger Eli Foote and centre Zackary Rodrigues – on a potent right-hand side – with tries at the start of the second half that proved to be the difference, the final quarter scoreless.

Malta men’s head coach, Aaron McDonald, noted: “I’ve coached this team for 17 international matches and I’ve never seen us work that hard for a result. The attitude was fantastic and I couldn’t be prouder.”

Prop James Mirceski gave North Macedonia an early lead and they were competitive throughout. Brothers on both sides crossed for tries, the Georgievskis for North Macedonia and Rodrigues’ with two of Malta’s touchdowns.

“It was another great game, unfortunately our mistakes cost us dearly, but we are improving with every outing,” said North Macedonia head coach Aaron Zammit.

NORTH MACEDONIA 18

Elia Georgievski, Jimmy Kostrevski, Aledin Hrvat, Tui Georgievski, Jayden Gouganovski, Justin Miletic, James Suleski, James Mirceski, Jake Mitrevski, Joshua Boicheski, Dean Kulevski, Xanda Georgievski, Joshua Kosteski

Interchanges: Jamie Miletic, Joshua Moncaster, Bradley Moncaster, Michael Boskovski

Tries: Mirceski (3), T. Georgievski (22), X. Georgievski (59)

Goals: Suleski 3/3

MALTA 22

Zarrin Galea, Eli Foote, Zackary Rodrigues, Logan Sipple, Marcus Muscat, Riley Tonna, Justin Rodrigues, Zac Vella, Ryan Azzopardi, Anthony Bucca, Braydon Sherry, Kade Fabri, Carlo Cassar

Interchanges: Lachlan Mifsud, John Azzopardi, Luke Sherry, Tyson Jackson

Tries: J. Rodrigues (15), Galea (38), Foote (42) Z. Rodrigues (55)

Goals: Galea 3/4

Referee: Billy Greatbatch (Australia)

Half Time: 12-12