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Army June 21, 2012
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THE Australian Services Rugby Union
Women's (ASRU-W) team is hungry
for revenge after losing to the touring
British Army women's team on May 24
at Sydney's Victoria Barracks.
The Warriors are determined to
avenge their 14-0 defeat when they tour
the United Kingdom in October.
The atrocious conditions restricted
the speed and width of attack of the
Warriors while making ball handling a
The Warriors had some early scoring
opportunities but lost possession at criti-
cal times, while the Brits women scored
two converted tries against the run of
Warriors coach WO1 Joe McIvor
said the team played well considering
the squad only came together four days
earlier and included five rookies.
"It was a hard-fought, high-quality
game that impressed the ASRU selectors
as well as the spectators," he said.
ASRU-W skipper Capt Caroline
Vakalahi led from the front with hard
attacking runs and try-saving tackles on
Capt Vakalahi said despite the score-
line, she was proud of her team and the
way it played.
"It was a good effort considering we
had been in camp for three weeks; two
weeks with individual services and then
together for less than a week before the
game against the British Army," she said.
She said her parting words to the
British girls were that ASRU-W would
be seeking not only redemption but
revenge in October.
"We know what is required in order
to improve our game for the UK tour,"
Players in the training squad will
have to fight for their positions, as the
30-woman squad will be reduced in the
Army's representatives in the squad are: Capt
Caroline Vakalahi, Lt Alisha Hewett, Lt Stacey
Eason, OCdt Sharyn Laws, Cpl Fasheena Nevell,
Cpl Annie Dufficy, Cpl Kelly Boye, Cpl Emma-Lee
Wood, Cpl Bridget Beatson, Cpl Stacey Bolton,
Sig Melissa Tuka, Pte Brea Grant, Pte Najet el-
Rahim, Pte Hayley Sullivan.
IF YOU think crossfit is a solitary
sport people just do in the gym,
think again. Next month three
Army personnel will contest the
Crossfit World Games in Carson,
California, and the stadium is
already sold out.
Last year 11,000 people watched
"It just goes to show how quickly
this form of fitness is growing on a
world scale," says Capt Ally Muller,
of the Combat Training Centre,
who is a member of the Crossfit
Townsville Tropic Thunder team.
Placing third in the Australian
regional games in Wollongong in
May earned the team a spot in the
world games from July 13-15.
Capt Muller's teammates are
Pte Scott MacKenzie and Pte Trent
Shannon, of 2RAR, Flt-Lt Melissa
Hill, of the Combat Survival
Training School, and civilians
Natalie Thus and Daniel Strickland.
They will be competing for the
title of the fittest team on earth.
Crossfit contestants might
be asked to attempt all manner of
events, from Olympic weightlifting
and gymnastics-based movements
to running, rowing and swimming.
They might also get some less con-
At Wollongong, the buddy carry
event was a curly one.
"Nat and Mel and Scott and
Trent had to carry each other in
whatever way they could," Capt
Muller says. To make it harder, the
men also had to carry a 45kg dumb-
bell and the women had to carry a
But Wollongong was compara-
tively easy, she says.
"The workouts that we had to
compete in were released about four
weeks in advance and so we tailored
our training to those specific events.
"For the worlds, our workouts
will only be released a couple of
days before so we need to be pre-
pared for anything.
"They can throw anything at us.
Last year they threw in an ocean
swim and I remember reading that
appropriate swimwear as no one
really expected to be swimming."
Capt Muller says all the mem-
bers brought a different set of skills
to the team. Mr Strickland used to
play for the Cowboys rugby league
team which will come in handy
when competing at such a highly
The team is busy training.
"Due to such a small timeframe
there isn't a great deal we can
change within our own abilities, so
we are just concentrating on con-
sistency and intensity of our move-
ments, working on our weaknesses
without neglecting our strengths,"
Capt Muller says.
"We are generally training twice
a day, with some short practice piec-
es dotted throughout the day when
we have a spare 10 or 15 minutes at
While excited, she plays down
the complexity of the sport.
"Anyone can do this. The crossfit
games just showcases what people
can potentially do," she said.
"This is obviously an unbeliev-
able opportunity for us to go over-
seas and represent our gym and the
"We hope that this inspires peo-
ple to just give crossfit a go if you
haven't before, and for those that do
crossfit workouts, maybe give the
opens a crack next year.
"You never know where it can
take you. All of a sudden you might
be heading across to LA!"
Want to see Tropic
Thunder in action in
this QR code or go to
to find right fit
Off to worlds:
The crossfit team
receives its medals
for placing third
in the Australian
regional games in
left, Dan Strickland,
Capt Ally Muller, Pte
Trent Shannon, Flt-
Lt Melissa Hill, Pte
Scott MacKenzie and
Warriors down but not out
Heads down: Warriors' prop Off-Cdt Sara Hume (black helmet) and hooker
Cpl Stacey Bolton prepare to pack down in a scrum against the British Army.
Photo by Michael Brooke
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