Dateline: 4th July, 2010

The Tokyo Gaijin Southern Hemisphere All Stars have won the Shuto League 10's competition, after winning a nail-biting final 5 v 0 against All Jin Jan with a 'Golden Try' in the second period of extra time. The try was scored by Aaron Nutsford in a see-sawing encounter at the Shin Urayasu Rugby Ground. Nutsford was immediately mobbed by his team-mates and the onlooking Northern Hemisphere All Stars.

Apisai Bati, captain of the TGRFC Southern Hemisphere team, was all smiles as he lifted the Trophy and gave a speech at the Awards Function immmediately afterwards. Despite losing one match  in the earlier pool rounds the Southern Hemisphere team handled the pressure well in the knockout stages of the competition. The team was a balanced mixture of power and pace, as well as experience and youth. Tournament organizers  were surprised that the team had three over 40's in their ranks with Joffa Harris, Apisai Bati and Aaron Nutsford nudging into their 40's.

The team was anchored by four guys who played every minute of every game in prop Dan Arakawa, speed merchant Mike Ryan, lineout king for the day Takeshi Ochiai, and Arthur Levula who added the steel to the midfield defense. The front row union of Arakawa, Mauro Sauco and Chris Lucas was enormous with strong shoves and quite a few wins against the head. Takeshi Ochiai was a tower of strength all day in the lineout and won just about all the balls expected of him and quite a few on opposition throws. As mentioned earlier, Arthur Levula made some punishing tackles at outside center, and Mike Ryan made some spectacular runs and some try-saving tackles to keep the 'South' in the competition.

In a tournament showcasing 24 teams, the Tokyo Gaijin RFC was asked to enter two teams. To balance the teams fairly it was decided to enter a Northern Hemisphere team and a Southern Hemisphere team with the Japanese members of the club divided evenly between the two teams.

The TGRFC Northern Hemisphere All Stars team can be proud of their effort as well, despite not bringing home any silverware. They have one bragging point over the 'South' in that they did not actually lose a game, and were finally knocked out of the competition due to a Drop Kick shoot-out! Funnily enough, if they had won this game against All France, they would have played the Southern Hemisphere team in the Semi-finals. the Southern Hemisphere got a measure of revenge for them by defeating the All France team in the semis.

The Northern Hemisphere team was well marshalled by Alaister Nimmo and Yamagen. Hitoshi Chihara provided the enthusiasm with many sniping runs and Liam Ramshaw and Simon Palm provided the grunt up front.

The only black mark for the day was when Rob Poulton broke his leg in three places and had a fracture in a fourth in the Norths' last pool game. Rob was taken from the field to Shin Urayasu Hospital by ambulance (where he was to spend the next three weeks). Rob was planning to head back to England  early next year so it could quite possibly be his last game for the TGRFC.

South Games:

V No Side - 5 v 0

Dan Arakawa dotted down near the left sideline after a fine run by Mike Ryan

v Fuji Club - 14 v 0

Mauro powered over for the first then Blake Walker dummied through a gap for the second.

v Hitotsubashi - 7 v 7

Joffa Harris scored a late try to equalize after Bati did some good lead up work. Dan Arakawa calmly potted the conversion halfway between touch and the posts.

v Shin Urayasu Beers  A - 7 v 0

Mauro made another storming run to bust through a few tackles and score.

v Ashitaka 0 v 12

The Gaijin were burned with pace in this one with the opposition wingers getting around their counterparts.

Quarter Final

v Tento Mushi - 7 v 0

Mike Ryan made a swerving run from inside his own half, beating several players, to score under the black dot. He made another lengthy run soon after but was stopped short.

Semi Final

v All France - 5v0

The South went out hoping to get revenge for the loss the North suffered at the hands of All France in a Drop Kick shoot out. Bati went blind from a scrum and pushed off both would be tacklers to score out wide. The North were all over the French side in possession and territory but could only manage the one try.

Final

v Waikiki Banians - 5 v 0

Gran Final

V All Jin Jan - 5v0

A very close and exciting game. Even-stevens early until the All Jin Jan winger rounded his opposite, Ikuo Fukuda, to race away. Fukuda tried to make up for it by never giving up on the chase. Inexplicably, the All Jin Jan winger fell over just in front of the posts with no one in front of him and Mike Ryan wrapped him up with the help of Fukuda and managed to steal the ball. Was it an act of God? Two extra periods of 5 minutes were played as it went down to a 'Golden Try'. With Tokyo Gaijin Southern Hemisphere having the territorial advantage, a grubber kick was put through, and Aaron Nutsford was on hand to beat two defenders and land on the bouncing ball. Golden Try! And Nutsford's first for the Tokyo Gaijin. He was mobbed in an euphoric scene. All Jin Jan could only contemplate what could have been except for a wayward piece of grass. It was a close one but one the Gaijin South well deserved.

North Games:

v Doronco - 14 v 0

Rob Poulton scored under the posts after a great break by Hitoshi Chihara. Alaister Nimmo scored late in the game.

v Tento Mushi  A's - 0 v 0

Tough game with no points scored.

v Shinjuku Jacks - 7 v 5

Good hands out to Bryan O'Brien on the wing who raced away to score.

v Baku & Clover - 7 v 5

Nice hands saw Rich O'Shea slip a ball away in the tackle to Hitoshi Chihara who raced 40 meters to score under the posts.

v Moccos - 12 v 5

Liam Ramshaw got the first try and Bryan O'Brien scored the second after some great hands along the backline with prop Simon Palm picking up a ball around his knees on the run and passing off to hooker Liam Ramshaw who threw the final pass for O'Brien to race away.

Quarter Final

v All France - 0 v 0 - Lost 2 v 1 (on Drop Goals)

After an entertaining game that could have gone either way, with the North squandering a late chance, it went down to a Drop Goal shootout. The young All France center was on target with his shot. Yamagen stepped up to pop over the first one for the Gaijin. All France was also successful with their next shot. Alaister Nimmo, stepped up next and needed to pilot the ball over the cross bar to keep the Gaijin in the competition but the pressure was too much and his kick went short and low.

Southern Hemisphere TGRFC ...............Northern Hemisphere TGRFC

1. Dan Arakawa (Japan/NZ)                                    1. Simon Palm (Germany)

2. Aaron Nutsford (NZ)                                              2. Tomo Togo (c) (Japan)

3. Mauro Sauco (Argentina)                                     3. Rob Poulton (England)

4. Joffa Harris (Australia)                                         4. Liam Ramshaw (England)

5. Takeshi Ochiai (Japan)                                          5. Richard O'Shea (Wales)

6.  Blake Walker (NZ)                                                  6. Alaister Nimmo (England)

7. Apisai Bati (c) (Fiji)                                                 7. Yamagen (Japan)

8. Toshi Miyano (Japan)                                             8. Daisuke Ikegami (Japan)

9. Arthur Levula (Fiji)                                                9. Hitoshi Chihara (Japan)

10. Mike Ryan (NZ)                                                      10. Bryan O'Brien (USA)

11. Ikuo Fukuda (Japan)                                             11. Dave Kelver (USA)

12. Toshihiro Uematsu (Japan)                                12. Jesse Takahashi (USA)

13. Roger Kim (USA)                                                    13. Shunsuke (Japan)

14. Chris Lucas (Australia)                                        14. Erin Hughes (USA)

15. Takuro Naito (Japan)                                            15. Charles Joffre (France)