East Kent Provincial 2013 News

Fiji's Centenary Rugby Union Fixture

2013 was the year that Fiji celebrated its Centenary in Rugby Union and, on Saturday 30th November, the occasion was marked with a match against the Barbarians at the home of English rugby in Twickenham. The Rugby Union section of the East Kent Provincial Sports Association (EKPSA) took the opportunity to celebrate the occasion with a record-breaking turnout of more than 120 fans meeting in the West Car Park for refreshments before going into the stadium to enjoy the match.

whole group 2 WLSome of the members, families and friends of the Rugby Section prepare for the match at Twickenham

Such a large gathering put great pressure on the organiser, WBro Matt Mitchell who was assisted by WBros Andy Stevens and Lawrence Hooker. Their day started by loading their cars with the liquid refreshments that would be needed later.

car boot WSSome of the liquid refreshments supplied for the day

Here we must record a Vote of Thanks to Shepherd and Neame who very generously donated vast quantities of beer and lager for the group to enjoy.

On arriving at the car park, Matt and Andy donned their sulus (the Fijian traditional dress) and set to preparing the tables ready for the large number of supporters that were making their way to the ground.

unloading cars WSAndy and Matt unloading the refreshments

This was followed a little later by a delivery of large quantities of chicken and vegetable curry, popadoms and naan breads.

matt and andy WSGetting into the spirit of the occasion

As the East Kent members, their families, children and friends arrived it was of course necessary to consume some of the refreshments before entering the stadium. The group comprised some 80 adults, of whom approximately one-half were members of the rugby section, and 40 children. A raffle was held with the proceeds going to the Province of East 2014 Festival for the Freemasons' Grand Charity.

fiji haka WSThe Fijian Meke

As is their custom, the Fijian team performed the Meke, their version of the Haka, after arriving on the field of play.

national anthems WSThe National Anthems

The group's seats were in a very good location, just behind the TV and radio commentators, and above the tunnel from which the players emerge.

chairman WSWBro Roger Waltham's view of the match

The Barbars, made up mostly of Springboks and All Black internationals, conceded the first try but ended up dominating the match with their devastating forward pack. The final score: Barbarians 43, Fiji 19, underlined the Barbar's dominance.

diehards WSMore refreshments after the match

After the game, the diehard supporters returned to the car park to quench a bit more of their thirst before setting off for home.

At this stage the Chairman of the Rugby Section, WBro Roger Waltham, thanked Matt and his team for their hard work in organising a memorable day and also thanked the members, their families, children and friends for their support.