Full-Back Lbdr Jack Fitzgerald was impressed with the way his Purvis Warriors side stuck to their task before running out 50-14 ARU Knock-Out Shield champions with victory against MOD Abbey Wood.
The man-of-the-match – who featured for the Army’s Development side earlier this year – produced a virtuoso display in which he scored a try among 15 individual points, sparking his side into life with a 60-metre burst which led to LBdr Tagituma’s opening score.
Fitzgerald added the extras, but Abbey Wood provided stern competition in an opening 40 minutes which saw the sides head into the break level at 14-14, Kai Wilkinson-Hardy and Chris Hill crossing for converted tries for the runners-up either side of Gnr Qaqaciri’s effort.
However, Warriors proved unstoppable after the break, Fitzgerald leading the way with the first of six tries – three of which the star man converted – Sgt Scott Lowe, twice, Gnr Rokovatura, LBdr Numatasere and Gnr Coqabula also crossing the whitewash.
And Jack reflected on a tough but successful afternoon in Aldershot: “It was good and very enjoyable – a tough first half but we had a good team-talk at the break and we managed to pull it out in the second half.
“The first 20 minutes we were good, but then they got on top of us in the scrums and it gave them a bit of an edge.
“Personally, I can only do what everyone else around you lets you do, and if I was playing my best, hopefully it pulled everyone else along as well.”
He continued: “We knew what our strengths were and unfortunately in the second part of the first half we played to theirs – we tried to truck it up and play against their big boys whereas we clearly had the advantage out wide.
“After the break we executed as we wanted, got it out wide and that led to the final score.”
Purvis Warriors came together as an amalgamation of 1 RHA and 26RA to ensure they could enter the competition – neither Unit with sufficient numbers to do it individually – and Fitzgerald admitted it had not been the easiest run for his side.
He said: “It’s been a difficult three months with people being deployed, having to do work ahead of rugby, but we always try and train as much as we can – twice a week when there’s a game, if there’s not, there’s no training.
“It also depends whose around for what kind of quality training you get, (but having won it) there’ll be a few beers had, that’s for sure!”
Words © Richard Ashton
Header and featured image – Alligin Photography © Lee Crabb