Army captain Emily White knows her side will have their work cut out on Sunday of they are to get their hands on a second trophy in as many seasons.
White led the side to an historic Challenge Shield Final victory in July 2019 and she is hoping for more success this weekend as the inaugural Women’s Super League South season reaches its climax at the weekend.
Having won three of their four games against Bedford Tigers and London Broncos in the East, the Army defeated Golden Ferns 110-0 to set up a Final encounter with Cardiff Demons.
But now they are finding themsleves up against a Cardiff Demons, many of whom made up the Wales squad for this summer’s game against England. But White admits her team won’t be intimidated by facing a that were playing on the International stage just a couple of months ago.
“We’ve never played against Cardiff, but we were fortunate enough to be able to watch them play in their semi-final so that has given us a bit of knowledge about that they are like,”said Exeter-born White, who only made the switch from Union to League four years ago.
“We’ve taken that and worked on same plays that will counteract what they will throw at us and we’ve been working hard to prepare for the game.
“Cardiff are great side and it’s going to be a big test, but hopefully it should also be a really fun and competitive game for us
“We’ve all played with Carrie Roberts, who is now with St Helens and played for England this year, and we also have Beth Dainton in the squad who is a former Wales inter at Rugby Union. Vicky Lee also had a spell playing for Wales and Jess McAuley played against England this year. So we have been around people of that level so often that we’re n afraid of it.
“It doesn’t intimidated us. We’re more just excited to be able to play against people of that sort of level.”
The game, being played at Ealing Trailfinders ahead of London Broncos’ clash with Sheffield, will be a tough test for the Army. But it’s a challenge White is hoping can lead to bigger things for the game across the whole of the Armed Forces.
“Getting a second trophy would be a huge achievement for our team,” added White.
“Whenever we get the chance to be put on a platform like this we need to grab it with both hands.
“The Challenge Shield win was groundbreaking for us because it was the first team sport that the Army has won a trophy in in a civilian league. It was a huge achievement for us and hopefully we can build on that and add the Women’s Super League South title to it as well
“A win on Sunday will hopefully set us up for the future and allow us to gain entry into other civilian competitions.
“Success for us might also encourage the RAF and Navy teams to do the same and in turn bring their A-game into the Inter Services Cup – making that competition even more interesting for us.
“There are a number of our players disappointed not be be involved on Sunday, but not everyone can get released form their day jobs every other weekend to attend the camps. But we are one big squad so if we do win on Sunday, it’s not just about the 17 of us on the field that have done it – it will be because of everyone who has contributed to us getting here.”