Man-of-the-match Pte Veleki Bulicokocoko paid tribute to his Royal Logistics Corps teammates after they beat Royal Engineers 22-10 in the League One final at the Corps Festival held at Newbury.
It was a successful day for the RLC, who were the only side to remain unbeaten having topped the round-robin stage with victories against RE (7-0) and RA (12-5) along with a 0-0 draw with REME.
Remarkably the other three sides all finished on four points, the Engineers having picked up a bonus-point 24-0 success the Gunners, with RA repeating the trick in their victory against a REME side who defeated the RE 12-10.
It was the Engineers who progressed to the final by virtue of scoring most points of the teams locked together, but their hopes of adding to their Corps Championship final success against the RLC were thwarted.
And Pte Bulicokocoko said: “I’m very happy and proud of the boys, it was a team effort with a lot of new guys.
“We came into camp a week ago with not a particularly big turn-out, but we managed to pull through.
“We had to win to get back for them beating us in the Corps Championship final, and the Festival suits us, playing a few games in the day and especially when the sun is out, our style of play with moving the ball around really works.”
The scrumhalf caught the eye in the final with a superb display, grabbing his side’s third try to put them in front after RE had kicked a penalty to level matters at 10-10.
But Pte Bulicokocoko admitted his pack had done an outstanding job in giving him front foot ball as he continued: “It’s a massive help to have them going forward and a massive shout-out to the whole squad, but especially the management who have been working hard to get the team together.
“Although we didn’t have the numbers early in the week, they got it together for today, so thank you to them.
“This helps set us up for the rest of the season. At the moment it’s a building phase and we need to work on our weak points, but then we can look to move forward from there.”
And while his Corps rugby will play a big part in Pte Bulicokocoko’s season, he also has his sights set on November’s Army trials following his excellent display.
He ended: “Last year I didn’t make the cut, but it’s something I’m aiming for, and we’ll see how it goes.”
The RLC and RE will lock horns again in what should be a fantastic opener in League One of the Corps Championship on Wednesday, September 27, with REME taking on the RA in the other fixture.
Words © Richard Ashton
All images – Alligin Photography © Cat Goryn
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