Sun | Sep 24, 2017

JDF's Warriors plan rugby dominance

Published:Friday | April 28, 2017 | 4:00 AM
Jamaica Rugby Football Union (JRFU) Chairman Jerry Benzwick hands the JRFU Men's 15s Championship trophy to Jamaica Defence Force Warriors captain Hubert Thomas after their 21-17 win over the Mona Titans in Saturday's grand final.

Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Warriors Men's 15s Rugby Union team vice-captain Orien Smith said that having a younger, deeper squad this season was a factor in the team capturing the Jamaica Rugby Football Union Club Championship this season.

The JDF defeated the Mona Titans 21-17 in Saturday's final with Smith getting his name on the scoresheet.

Smith said that the JDF had scouted players from the top teams in the high school competitions, who have joined the army since leaving school.

"We had players coming from Calabar, from St Catherine High, from Jose Marti, St Georges and a player from STATHS (St Andrew Technical High School)," he said.

He adds that in reducing the average age of the squad, the JDF hopes it can be dominant in the competition and win successive titles over the next few years.

"We will have fresh legs coming into the team, and so that should be beneficial to the team going forward. Now, it's just to keep the guys motivated, match fit and keep that cohesiveness that we have found."

MEANINGFUL WIN

Smith said that the win meant a lot to the team as they had previously kept crashing out at the semi-final stage of the competition and had not won the title since the 2013/2014 season.

"For the past two years, this is a team (Titans) that always kicks us out at the semi-final round," he said.

"But this time around, we did our homework and set our sights on the championship. We also owed our officer in charge of rugby in the JDF, and also the coach a championship. That was one of the main aims for this season. We also took on the title of not being men, but machines, and I think that is what got the team on a high."

Smith said that the Warriors will now look to build momentum from capturing the title and hope to use it to create a winning spirit in the team and push it to further success.

"Now that we are back to winning ways, we have our sights now set on the Jacob Thompson Sevens tournament next month, and also the Jamaica Rugby League Association Championship."