SPORTS

Unbeaten Force

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces team won the International Defence Rugby Competition (IDRC) in London yesterday. The Fijians dethroned defending champions British Army 30-10 at Twickenham Stoop in London
31 Oct 2015 12:00
Unbeaten Force
Champions ... The RFMF team with the International Defence Rugby Cup after beating British Army 30-10 yesterday. Photo: Zimbo

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces team won the International Defence Rugby Competition (IDRC) in London yesterday.

The Fijians dethroned defending champions British Army 30-10 at Twickenham Stoop in London yesterday.

This is the first time RFMF has taken part in the four-yearly competition and Land Force Commander Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho said they deserved to win.

“The British Army was lucky to score a consolation try at the end otherwise they would have gone

without the try,” Col. Qiliho said.

“After the disappointing loss to the Police in the Sukuna Bowl, the RFMF team has done itself proud by defeating all the bigger militaries and renowned rugby nations.

“Especially when Fiji was not seeded even in its pool at the start and at the end of the pool games, it was only undefeated team until the end of the final.

“The British Army lost one game and was seeded second after those pool matches.”

With the tremendous support from the Royal Navy and Fijian community, Col. Qiliho said they have been a major boost during the teams stay in England.

“We were well looked after by the Royal Navy and also supported greatly by the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Airforce Fijians who are there,”he said.

“They never stopped visiting us every day, we never asked for things but they went out of their way and bought things for the players, even rugby boots.

“We didn’t ask them for anything, but in the true Fijian spirit of looking after each other, they came out in numbers.

“During the pool matches we had 200 Fijians cheering on the sideline, it was like watching a rugby game at Albert Park.

“All the countries that were participating were quite amazed, and after the games they would come with food for the players and even other countries like the Japanese team joined us for those meals.

“So we were well looked after by the Royal Navy and Fijian community and we must thank them most sincerely for going out of their way to come and support the team.”

Col. Qiliho said their participation in the tournament would not have been without the invitation from the organisers.

“We must thank the organisers of the tournament for inviting Fiji. Initially there were 12 nations selected for the tournament which didn’t include Fiji.

“After a few of those nations pulled out and they were replaced and there was one spot vacant, I had discussed this with organiser of the tournament and he told me that he thought about inviting Fiji.

“I told him that I hope he won’t regret inviting Fiji because we are taking back that trophy with us.

“He was stunned and seemed to not believe what I have just said but after the semifinal he totally avoided me.  So I am wondering now what he would be saying after the final.”

The RFMF fly home along with the Australians and Tonga on Monday, The Aussies will host a dinner in the western division for RFMF.

The RFMF thanks the Fiji Sun and United Apparel for sponsoring the team.

The International Defence Rugby competition is held every four years and will take place in Japan in 2019.

too many mistakes and showed glimpses of individual play in the first half. They were also slow to breakdowns. “The first half

“The second half yielded more satisfactory results with the individu

“We’re not too keen about keeping scores as it’s more a matter of testing the skills and capabilities

“We have a much clearer, better picture of who’ll be named in the 30-men squad after today’s performance and we’ll finalise that list.”

The Fiji Warriors final 30-member squad is set to be named on Friday..

Feedback: Justine.mannannan@fijisun.com.fj

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