Fifita happy to mark first start with victory
Whilst it might not have been a night for wingers, Walter Fifita was grinning from ear to ear as he strode back down the tunnel and out of the Scotstoun sleet after last night’s hard-earned 13-3 win over Benetton.
Tries from Ollie Smith and Jack Demspey ensured that the Warriors would be claiming a vital victory over their Scottish-Italian Shield rivals, as well as keeping pace at the top of the United Rugby Championship standings.
For Fifita, the result was the perfect way to mark his first start in Glasgow colours, with the winger playing 70 minutes in a hard-fought win.
“Yeah, that felt good,” grinned the Tongan international following the full-time whistle.
“I was excited to get my first start, and I’m happy to get out there with the boys. To get the win is the main thing and it’s important for us to kick on.”
The 24-year-old was also quick to praise the work of his colleagues in the back three, with Smith turning in a Player of the Match-winning performance and Rufus McLean coming within a fingertip of a memorable solo score.
“I was so impressed with Ollie and Rufus,” said Fifita.
“They helped me out a lot tonight, because they played so well. They kept things simple and their communication out there was so, so good.
“That helped us on the edges in defence, as well as made sure that everything was going well when we had the ball.”
Standing at 6ft 5in and weighing in at 118kg, it was perhaps no surprise that the volume of the Warrior Nation cranked up a notch whenever the ball was shipped to Fifita’s channel.
The role of heavyweight carrier was one that the winger was all too happy to fulfil, with one barnstorming charge taking the Warriors fully 30 metres into Benetton territory despite the attention of three visiting defenders.
“The crowd were amazing,” said Fifita.
“It felt really good to get out there and have them behind me. It’s the first time I’ve been able to run out in front of them and the noise was great tonight.
“I love carrying. As soon as I get the ball that’s what I want to do – I try to show no fear and get my head down, make yards and do my job for the team.
“We couldn’t do it without the fans, and we wouldn’t be where we are right now if we didn’t have their support.”
It wasn’t just in Glasgow that the cheers for Fifita’s first start could be heard, however – the Warrior Nation has a new branch that’s just opened up.
“I caught up with my family down in New Zealand this morning before the game, which was really good,” smiled the big man.