Tokyo Gaijin rounded up the season with a mini triangular tournament at the Mitaka fields which might or might not serve as a concrete excavation quarry during the week.
The two worthy opponents: Mitaka R.F.C. and Girls - the former having made sure that their home pitch was immaculately raked, and the latter presumably imagining that their name is quite hilarious for a rugby side.
The first outing against Mitaka was, by all accounts, bad. They were fast and fit and exploited some naive back-three defence with good kicking by their fly-half, Harry Highpants (perhaps not the name his mother gave him).I can say that because I am the supposed back-three general. Sadly, my stripes came loose in the gravel. Having nullified a potential area of exploitation, the scrum, by conveniently "not having any front rowers" and requesting 'Golden Oldies' (no pushing), they proceeded to get plenty of clean ball out to their quick backs and scored several tries down the wings.
Whilst the Gaijin forwards worked well in phases and the midfield was solid - and the bounce of the ball favoured the home side (local knowledge, perhaps?) - the truth is that the final score of 0-29 did not flatter Mitaka too much.
They are a Tokyo Cup 1st Division team however, and we should get a chance for revenge in the Tama League starting up in Autumn.
Harry Highpants watch out! The second game against Tokyo Cup second division side, Girls, was much more inspired.
With manager Joffa Harris off the bench and offering encouraging words both to the troops and to the referee, Gaijin were more compact against admittedly weaker opposition than Mitaka offered.
Making a sparkling debut at Number 8 was Rob Reinebach who scored a fine solo try following a storming run, to cancel out Girls' earlier score and tie up the game (with conversion) at 7-7. Captain Joe Fisher was the beneficiary of another of Rob Reinebach`s angry bursts upfield, scoring from a good offload, and nabbing another from a tidy bit of controlled rage of his own.
Meanwhile, halfback Takashi Mutou, was everywhere making hits that defied his diminutive stature and making life a bit miserable for his opposite number. Making his debut, prop Takayuki Kitajima, grew in confidence and in tandem with hooker So Nagashima and locks Mike Taylor (who later limped off with ligament damage that will keep him out for at least two months) and Mauro Sauco, ensured a much cleaner platform than the first game from which to launch offensives.
Out in the backs, Fatty Walker took more crash balls than any flyhalf in living memory, whilst at inside centre, the obvious enjoyment that Niall Conlon derived from hurting anything in a red jersey bordered on the mentally imbalanced but made for hilarious viewing. His performance was capped with a lovely wee interchange with Takeshi Takada down the left wing that rumoured at what the backs are capable of.
On a lighter note, Chuckie Laing attempted a drop-goal from 35 metres that almost killed a linesman and he would like to use this forum to apologise.
Many thanks to the loyal supporters, and in particular to Shino Iwasaki who, with consumate professionalism in her role of team medic, offered to spray Blake's nether-regions with anti-inflammatory following his misjudgement whilst attempting to catch a midfield bomb (There goes Father`s Day!). He declined, much to everyone's disappointment.