WINNING the opening tournament of the year is vital for the Wardens sevens rugby club as it prepares to face the challenges of the new year.
Wardens Gold won the first Uluinakau 7s tournament that was held on Nausori's Ratu Cakobau Park over the weekend.
Skipper Sevuloni Rakula said winning the first tournament of the year was crucial to setting the platform for the season.
Wardens ended last season on a high note winning the Salata 7s at the Suva Grammar School grounds.
Rakula said the plan was to start the season on a high note.
"Yes, we won the last tournament of last year and it was our goal to start the season from where we left off," said the Vatukalo lad from Ovalau.
"It was tough because we sacrificed our Christmas and new year celebrations to concentrate on winning the first tournament."
Rakula said despite missing top players like Ilai Tinai, Setefano Cakau, Lepani Botia, Jone Vota and Joji Ragamate, his teammates stood up to the test.
Rakula combined well with his halves partner Setefano Rasekaia at the Uluinakau 7s.
"This is a new team, we are building up to the future and we hope the win will set the platform for the year."