UKAF Rugby League Head Coach: 'Proud To Win On Such A Poignant Day'

A 24-20 win over England Universities meant the team had won the President's Cup on the eve of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.

The UKAF Rugby League Head Coach has said the D-Day celebrations were motivation for his team winning the President’s Cup.

In the final game against England Universities, the team won the trophy with a 24-20 victory.

The team’s Head Coach, Danny Johnson, has been in charge for just five games and believes watching the D-Day services in the build up to the game had a part to play in the win.

He said: “We are really proud to win on such a poignant day. We’ve seen today some of the celebrations that have been going and the boys have been watching it.

“Today’s celebrations were a big part of them wanting to come out and do it as well.

“It’s my fifth game in charge and first full President’s Cup. I’m really pleased with how we have progressed along the way.

“We’ve tried to fix things up after each game and the boys have been totally responsive. They have gone out and done it every single time.”

The UKAF team won all three games in the tournament to lift the trophy.

In his short time in charge of the team, Johnson has managed to make a number of changes which he thinks have improved the team.

“I think natural selection and people being away on operations has allowed us to bring new players in.

“Our biggest change of adding value is mental skills work about how we operate as a team, how we communicate and how we operate in adversity like we did in the second half.

“It’s been really effective and positive. It’s really helped us along the way with the technical stuff and physical stuff.”

The team’s final game against the students proved to be the most difficult, but Johnson expected that.

He said: “We knew the Universities would be the strongest opposition for us. The results coming into the game suggested there was not much in it.

“We’d seen some video and done some work on them, but we knew we have to perform well today to try and win.”

However, a strong first half performance shocked both teams and meant the UKAF team led by 22 points at the break.

“It’s very rare to go in at half-time with not much to correct. They boys did work hard for it and I think in the second half, that took its toll on us.

“At the end of the game, some boys were out on their feet but we managed to hold on just.”