LBdr Matt Waqanisau was delighted to lead his 12 Regt RA side to victory against reigning champions 1 YORKS at the ARU Unit Premiership Showpiece Day – and expressed his gratitude for the strong team bond the Stormers possess.
In a highly competitive game at the Army Stadium in Aldershot, last season’s runners-up were well and truly under the cosh in the opening quarter, falling 7-0 behind to a try from Pte Nakoroivalu converted by 2Lt Matt Smart.
Yet they showed tremendous resilience and gradually worked their way back into the contest, edging ahead before the break on the back of a score from WO2 (SSM) Sai Qarau and a penalty from Cpl Kenatale.
Bdr Tex Vunakagi went over for a score again added to, but 1 YORKS immediately replied with a try of their own.
However, with a dominant scrum, 12 Regt kicked another penalty to get their campaign underway on a high.
Captain of the side, LBdr Waqanisau, said: “It was our first game of the season and we were raring to go after what happened in the Final. We had a few new boys in, and it was good to start with a win.
“As Stormers players we look forward to going up against the YORKS – it’s always a physical encounter with them and they’ve won the Premiership Cup twice before.”
With the nature of Unit rugby meaning his side were somewhat depleted, he continued: “Our regiment at the moment is very busy, so we were missing a lot of players because of those commitments and there is also a Battery ready to be deployed overseas.
“So we were very grateful to the Commanding Officer for giving us the time off to play.
“There is such a team bond in the regiment, but especially in the rugby team – people are working together on and off the field.
“It gives you the opportunity to make truly strong friendships.”
Having made the perfect start, LBdr Waqanisau is excited for the remainder of the season and ended: “We’ll go back to the drawing board after this first game – we have a big break until November – but we’ll look forward to the next match.”
Words © Richard Ashton | Images © Sue Day