Dateline: 3rd February, 2019
Kouichi Morita ran in 5 tries and Louie Hamilton had 4 by halftime as the Tokyo Gaijin RFC thrashed Moccos RFC 99 – 0 at Edogawa #3 ground in their inaugural foray into the Katsushika League. David McElhinney joined in with a hat-trick as it rained tries on a beautiful winter day out near Shin Shibamata.
A search through the record books shows that the Tokyo Gaijin have beaten All France 99 – 0 but whether they have broken the 100 point mark is inconclusive as records have not always been kept. Morita did not break the club record for tries in a game either as that is jointly held by Fijians, with former captain and sometime player Apisai Bati, and Joe Nawaqavanua holding that record with 6 tries a piece.
The Gaijin were over for their first try 30 seconds into the game. New boy Kazuma Udagawa took the kickoff and from the first ruck Mosese Rarasea split the defense and ran 25 metres before offloading to Kouichi Morita looming up in support. He fended off the fullback and raced the last 40 metres to score under the posts for the first of his five.
Louie Hamilton got his first after a 60 metre run and then David McElhinney dived over from a scrum after the ball dribbled out after Moccos couldn’t control their own scrum.
The next try was sublime in handling. Jamie Martin chip-kicked just 5 metres out from his own line. It wasn’t the greatest kick but importantly he managed to regain it. The ball was swung through 7 pairs of hands in an excellent show of support play and ended with Kouichi Morita running the last 20 metres to score.
Louie Hamilton scored the next two tries, the second one a 90 metre effort as he zigzagged around his opponents after Sovita Tui won a nice steal at a ruck inside the Gaijin’s 22 metre line.
Natsuhiko Kunitomo scored the next try and it was memorable for all the wrong things. Natsu had done well to support a Mosese Rarasea break but in the process of scoring he attempted a swan dive. It was the worse swan dive ever and he should be banned from attempting such shenanigans ever again. Basically he bunny-jumped up, and instead of landing forward, he landed on his feet again and then fell forward. Comical!
Louie Hamilton got his fourth for the half just before halftime when Sovita Tui drew the defense and put him in a gap. Hamilton once again put on his zigzag show and had the fullback running from side to side before he outpaced him to run 30 metres and score.
The halftime score was 52 v 0. Just wow! I am not sure what Moccos did last night but they had forgotten to turn up! It was beautiful weather for the middle of winter but it was raining tries. Tackling was non-existent.
Kouichi Morita got two tries early in the second half due to excellent support play. Taku Eguchi got a try in between Morita’s two after a dominant Gaijin scrum gave them a tighthead win and David McElhinney gained good ground.
McElhinney turned from creator to receiver soon after when Jamie Martin stole a ball in a tackle and passed to McElhinney who zigzagged the fullback and had him running backwards and left and right in a similar vein to an earlier Louie Hamiton try.
Kouichi Morita was back in the try scorers list almost from kickoff after Kazuma Udagawa made 30 metres from a storming run from the kickoff and popped the ball to Morita who ran the last 20 untouched to score.
McElhinney got his third after Ryosuke Okawara kicked through a loose ball and McElhinney won the race to the ball and ran around to score under the posts.
Mosese Nasegesege got the final try when he ran 20 metres to score under the posts. After countryman and namesake Mosese Rarasea successfully took the last conversion of the game the score was 99 v 0.
The Gaijin had scored 15 tries. It wasn’t really because they had played particularly well – their opposition was shocking on the day. Were they partying all night? The Gaijin could easily have passed the hundred mark if they stayed focused but they played sloppy rugby over the last 5 minutes. There were 4 or 5 dropped balls as structure went out the window and people wanted to get their name on that scoring list.
Kouichi Morita was given Man of the Match for his non-stop effort. He was everywhere on the field – like an energizer bunny. Maybe it was because it could possibly be his last game for the Gaijin for the foreseeable future as he is moving down to Kyushu. The team will miss his tackling and excellent support play. Thankfully he introduced one of his buddies to the team in Kazuma Udagawa. Udagawa had a very good game at lock. He made two thirty metre charges from kickoffs and will be a valuable addition to the squad.
It was also good to have two of the team’s Fijians back after some time out of the game after leg injuries. Sovita Tui was back in the centres after almost a year out with knee problems. He played well but has obviously not done a lot of exercise in his time out as he looks like he could play prop. Mosese Nasegesege has had even more time out – over 2 years – with knee problems, but went through holes today like a hot knife through butter. Welcome back boys!
The Goat of the Game was given to winger Yoshihiro Sato for blowing two tries. The first was when he dropped a pass when he had nobody in front of him, and the second was when he knocked on late in the game as he was going to ground the ball in the corner.
SCORE: TGRFC 99 (Kouichi Morita 5, Louie Hamilton 4, David McElhinney 3, Natsu Kunitomo 1, Taku Eguchi 1, Mosese Nasegesege 1 tries; Daiske Teraoka 11/14, Mosese Rarasea 1/1 conversions) Moccos RFC 0
MVP: Kouichi Morita
Goat: Yoshihiro Sato
1. Tommy Nasuno (Japan)
2. Tomohiro Setoguchi (c) (Japan)
3. Tsunaki ‘Don’ Tanaka (Japan)
4. Kazuma Udagawa (Japan)
5. Natsuhiko Kunitomo (Japan)
6. Mosese Nasegesege (Fiji)
7. Koucihi Morita (Japan)
8. Mosese Rarasea (Fiji)
9. David McElhinney (Ireland)
10. Daisuke Teraoka (Japan)
11. Jamie Martin (England)
12. Sovita Tui (Fiji)
13. Louie Hamilton (Ireland)
14. Taku Eguchi (South Africa)
15. Ryosuke Okawara (Japan)
19. Joffa Harris (Australia)
23. Yoshihiro Sato (Japan)