Dateline: 7th November, 2010
Taking the field with one of the most diverse sides ever with representatives from Germany, Spain, the Basque country, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, the Gaijin knew they were in for a tough affair againt Komaba Watermelon Men B's (KWMB). The squad is an Old Boy team affiliated with Todai University and have played together for a long time and they also train together all the time....something the Gaijin can only dream of.
Early points were lost when Toshi Miyano missed a kick from in front, actually hitting the very top of the uprights and the ball bouncing outside the posts. KWMB took advantage of this miss and worked their way down the field and eventually got a try after solid work from their forwards.
Joffa Harris then got the first and only try for the Gaijin after a strong run by Andy ballard up the middle of the ruck. The ball was quickly shifted to the blind by halfback Alaistair Nimmo where Paulo de Berriozabal drew two defenders leaving Harris a clear run to the line. Miyano again missed the conversion but the Gaijin were still in the game at halftime when they were down by just the 2 points with the scoreline being 7 v 5 to the Water Melon Men.
As the Gaijin tired and more experienced players were replaced with 'greener' players the Gaijin lost their resolve and structure and limped home to a 31 v 5 defeat with 4 more tries in the second half to the Water Melon Men.
Erin Hughes, in his last game for the Gaijin, provided a bit of comedy when halfback Alaister Nimmo passed him the ball behind a ruck. Hughes, who was standing there flat-footed, slipped over and then passed the ball forward to a team-mate while lying flat on his belly. It was worthy of Goat of the Match but the team just couldn't do that to him in his last game for the club.
There was no shame in the result as the Gaijin had played with tenacity and were always going to be tested by a side that plays in a higher league. The Komaba Watermelon Men had beaten the Gentle Giants 144 v 0 three weeks prior so the result was actually better than expected by some. The Gaijin scrum had crushed the KWMB scrum and had forced quite a few turnovers so there was a moral victory for the Gaijin forward pack. Dave Kelver was awarded Man of the Match for the Gaijin for a non-stop display of running....he was everywhere on the field...in defense, in the rucks and in the mauls. New boy, Gorka Gerediaga, also had a strong game and was powerful in the scrums.
Thanks to all the supporters who came out and cheered the boys on. And good luck to Erin Hughes in Texas. The team wishes you all the best and will miss your friendship and all the hard work you did for the club.
SCORE: KWMMB 31 (5 tries, 2 conversions) TGRFC 5 (Joffa Harris 1 try, Toshi Miyano 0/1 conversions, 0/1 penalties)
Man of the Match: Dave Kelver
Goat of the Match: Ikuo Fukuda (for dropping the ball in the second half with only space in front of him and Bati looming up in support)
1. Gorka Gerediaga (Spain)
2. Tomo Togo (C) (Japan)
3. Simon Palm (Germany)
4. Erin Hughes (USA)
5. Alex Glover (England)
6. Paulo de Berriozabal (Basque)
7. Dave Kelver (USA)
8. Joffa Harris (Australia)
9. Alaister Nimmo (vc) (England)
10. Toshi Miyano (Japan)
11. Jeff Cutler (USA)
12. Ikuo Fukuda (Japan)
13. Andy Ballard (England)
14. Charles Joffre (France)
15. Henry Bird (NZ)
Reserves: Liam Ramshaw (England); Angga Wirastomo (Indonesia); Chris Lucas (Australia); Natsuhiko Kunitomo (Japan); Apisai Bati (Fiji); Yamagen (Japan); Anjula Silva (Sri Lanka); Guiseppe Ingiglli (Italy)