Declan Mallia played for the under-18 Maltese national team.
Declan Mallia played for the under-18 Maltese national team. Contributed GLA260618MALLIA

Mallia's memorable win against the Africans

RUGBY LEAGUE: Declan Mallia's debut in the Maltese under-18 national team was one to remember.

The former Calliope Rooster junior and CQ Capras player was instrumental in Malta's 10-8 win against Africa United in Sunday's international representative weekend in Sydney.

"It was a tough game and we were up 10-0 at half-time and then Africa United started to gain momentum throughout the second half through some errors on our behalf," Mallia said.

Declan Mallia will play for the under1- Maltese team against Africa this Sunday.
STRAIGHT THROUGH: Declan Mallia in action during the season. INSET: Mallia and his Maltese team pose for a photo on Sunday. Contributed GLA180618DECLAN

He also said the team went away from the things it did so well up until the latter stages of the match.

"As a team we just focused on getting forward and being dominant in defence," Mallia said.

"We successfully did so for the first half, but lost a bit of control about 10 minutes into the second."

Africa came back to within striking range with plenty of time left and Mallia said an error gave United the momentum.

"The first try was scored off the back of one of our errors, which allowed them to rack up some points probably 15 minutes into the second half and they managed to score again with about 10 minutes to go," he said.

He said there was a sense of pride and relief once the final siren blew.

"It was a really great achievement for all of the boys to wear the Malta jersey, but topped it off being able to get the win for our families and each other," Mallia said.

So what's next for him?

"I'll continue to train in the Capras U20s and enjoy local footy at Rockhampton Brothers," he said.

Mallia has played four games for the top-placed Brothers' U20 side and scored two tries.

He also got a run after he started on the bench against Townsville Blackhawks in round 13 of the Hastings Deerings Colts competition, which is a feeder league for the Capras' senior team.