Tokyo Gaijin 71 US Navy 0
13/02/2005

The United States is no longer a safe place to live.  The Tokyo Gaijin visited one of their foremost naval bases at Yokosuka on the seaboard of Tokyo, and they let Heats Devlin get inside.  Security has since been upgraded to red, and Jerry Brady has been questioned for un-American activities such as occasionally making sense and consorting with New Zealanders.

 

The rugby-nuts at the Yokosuka US naval base are learning their rugby in the shadow of gridiron, but what the sailors lack in experience they more than make up for with heart.  If they can get regular fixtures they?ll develop into a fine Tokyo team, and the Gaijin trecked down to the home of the US Navy (Asian division) to help start making that dream a reality. 

 

As it was, the Gaijin had too much nous and organisation for the raw naval ratings.  They also showed great discipline to maintain strong attacking patterns in a game which sometimes threatened to lose shape.  The pack was outstanding, and when the ball was released to the backs, Heats Devlin and Chuckie Laing were particularly in evidence, feeding the Bull whenever possible.  In defence Niall Conlon put in some huge tackles, and there are several US gunners who?ll feel much safer back on ship.  In a warzone. 

 

Both teams are immensely grateful to special agent Ed Gardner, a top level United States referee who generously agreed to contribute his experience to this match, refereeing in a way which also coached the untried US servicemen in some of the more complex aspects of the game.  His judgement of the tone of the match was impeccable, and his willingness to appear in the first place an invaluable bonus to those newcomers still getting to grips with rugby.