The Tokyo Gaijin RFC got back on the winning track after going down in the first round of the Tokyo Cup with a big win in their second pool game over the Gentle Giants to the tune of 72 v 12. Big Fijian Joe Nawaqavanua got the ball rolling with 3 early tries and a committed forward pack kept the opposition at bay for most of the game to annihilate the Giants.The Gaijin began the game with some excellent tackling and support work and it wasn't long after the kickoff that Nawaqavanua crashed over the line after a good break by fellow Fijian Mosese Rarasea. Toshi Miyano failed with the conversion but the Gaijin were feeling confident with a lead of 5 v 0 only 7 minutes into the game.
The next major play was made by Takeshi Kawai when he was ordered from the field for wearing full length tights, applicable only for costume dramas and not professional IRB standard competition such as the Tokyo Cup. Yamagen filled in for him while he accepted the Tokyo Cup Committee's admonishment and quickly changed his attire to something more befitting and made his presence back on the field 5 or so minutes later.
Number 8 Hiroyuki Ikeuchi showed all-round skills soon after when he made a nice break and then put in a nice kick and chase which got the Gaijin deep into Gentle Giants territory. Nawaqavanua was to be the recipient of the next try when he cruised up the wing after a series of good passes found him with plenty of space to beat the opposition defence. Miyano missed the conversion to leave the score at 10 v 0.
A fantastic run up the wing from David Chan soon after the kickoff had the fans on the sideline screaming as he fended off three would-be tacklers and took off like a hare being chased by greyhounds. as the tryline loomed though he found that he was getting closed in by the cover defense and threw a pass inside. Of the 4 players around him he managed to find the only Gentle Giants player and the move broke down and his excellent charge came to nothing.
Joe Nawaqavanua scored next to bring up his hatrick before anyone else had scored. With all the hard work going in from the rest of the forwards it allowed Nawaqavanua to spend some time roaming out in the backs as he loves to do, being an ex-back and all. He made a triumphant return to the forwards after a long exile in the backline to bulldoze over the tryline. Once again Miyano missed the conversion to leave the score at 15 v 0.
After a period of loose passing from the Gaijin backs with Mosese Rarasea expecting his non-Fijian team-mates to catch balls that only Fijian 7's players could catch the Gaijin broke through for another try. The try was superb with Toshi Miyano and Takeshi Kawai seeming to know what each other was thinking. Miyano put through a kick that Kawai raced through from the wing and caught on the full and he then raced away to score untouched under the posts. Miyano had no problems with the conversion in front of the posts to make the score 22 v 0.
Hiroyuki Ikeuchi was to be rewarded for his hard tackling and vigorous ruck work by scoring the last try of the first half when he crashed over the line after some fine line-out work. Miyano converted to make the score 29 v 0.
The Tokyo Gaijin RFC could be happy with the halftime score and it would be the Gentle Giants that would have to make all the running in the second half if they were to take the match. The Gaijin scrum was causing their opposition lots of trouble and shunting them backwards at will but the Giants still manged to get the ball out, albeit, usually on the backfoot. The Giants lineout however, was causing the Gaijin trouble as they had lost their first three throws and a few more as the half wore on. The Gaijin ran out for the second half with an unchanged squad as they aimed for continuity before they brought on fresh legs.
The ploy seemed to backfire as it was to be the Giants who would score first in the second half just a few minutes in. A poor defensive line allowed the Giants to find holes in the Gaijin defense and they crashed over for the simplest of tries. They failed to c0nvert but they were finally on the scoreboard at 29 v 5.
Not long after the kickoff Liam Ramshaw made an excellent charge-down. Mosese Rarasea was the beneficiary of a lucky bounce and showed good pace to race away and score. Miyano converted and the Gaijin were now out to a 36 v 5.
Hiroyuki Ikeuchi almost got a double soon after but knocked the ball on as he dived fully oustretched for the line. He slightly injured himself in the move so a replacement was called upon. Nik Pavesic came on for Ikeuchi and soon after Phillip Ferreira entered the fray for Touch Roy who also was having some knee problems.
Big Samoan forward Mauola Sega scored next when he charged like a steaming locomotive through the Giants pack. Miyano was off target again and the score remained at 41 v 5.
A powerful scrum not long after the restart saw Nik Pavesic dive over the line and once again Miyano failed to convert. The score was now a very healthy 46 v 5 to the Gaijin.
Prop Tsukasa Takasugi then raced over the line after giving good support to Nik Pavesic who had made good ground up the right side of the field. Miyano finally got one to go between the posts to to bring up the half-century. Score: 53 v 5.
Then Takeshi Kawai extended the lead with his second try after showing good pace. Miyano again converted to make the score 60 v 5.
Experienced campaigners Apisai Bati and Joffa Harris were then brought on to replace Mauola Sega and Joe Nawaqavanua. Bati didn't take long to make an impression when he broke through the defense on the halfway line. He had Harris as support on the inside and another couple of players on the outside but there was no way he was giving the ball to anyone. He managed to race, with a smile as wide as the Cheshire cat's, all the way to the tryline before he was tackled as he crossed it, but still managed to put the ball down for a 5 pointer. Miyano converted and the Gaijin were pulverizing the Giants into submission with the scoreline now at 67 v 5.
Yamagen and Natsu Kunitomo got on for 10 minute cameos as Mosese Rarsea and Takeshi Koba got to rest their weary bodies. Phillip Ferreira showed surprising strength and speed on his way over for the next Gaijin try - speed only previously displayed when he was chased out of Soweto. He bumped off a few tacklers as he charged down the right wing. Miyano had no hope with the side line conversion if any of his previous attempts were evidence and he was true to form leaving the score at 72 v 5 to the Gaijin.
The Gentle Giants were to get the last say in the game but it was far too little and far too late. One of their backs ran straight through the tiring Gaijin forward pack with Natsu Kunitomo and Tsukasa Takasugi doing passable imitations of concierges at the Hilton. The try was converted from in front of the sticks and a few minutes later the final whistle was blown.
The final score of 72 v 12 would have embarrassed the Gentle Giants but it was an accurate reflection of the Tokyo Gaijin's domination of the game....... which was total. They had scored 12 tries and would have had even more points if Toshi Miyano had been a little more accurate in the kicking department.
The Tokyo Gaijin forward pack was far superior to their opposition in almost all facets of the game, bar the line-outs. Their superior scrum ensured that the Giants rarely got good front-foot ball. Fullback Takeshi Kawai showed excellent pace and the ability to be in the right place at the right time. David Chan, playing on the wing as opposed to his regular position of centre, made numerous powerful runs up the sideline swatting away defenders and palming off would-be tacklers to deserve the Man of the Match Award.
Score : TGRFC 72 ( Joe Nawaqavanua 3, Takeshi Kawai 2, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi 1, Mosese Rarsea 1, Mauola Sega 1, Nik Pavesic 1, Tsukasa Takasugi 1, Apisai Bati 1, Phillip Ferreira 1 tries. Toshi Miyano 6/12 conversions) Gentle Giants 12 (2 tries, 1/2 conversions)
Man of the Match: David Chan
1. Takeshi Koba (Japan)
2. Liam Ramshaw (England)
3. Tsukasa Takasugi (Japan)
4. Richard O'Shea (Wales)
5. Maoula Sega (Samoa)
6. Joe Nawaqavanua (Fiji)
7. Shinichiro Nakayama (vc) (Japan)
8. Hiroyuki Ikeuchi (Japan)
9. Alaister Nimmo (c) (England)
10. Toshi Miyano (Japan)
11. Bryan O'Brien (USA)
12. Mosese Rarasea (Fiji)
13. Touch Roy (Australia)
14. David Chan (Australia)
15. Takeshi Kawai (Japan)
Reserves Used: Natsu Kunitomo (Japan), Nik Pavesic (Croatia), Joffa Harris (Australia), Takeshi Ochiai (Japan), Apisai Bati (Fiji), Phillip Ferreira (South Africa), Yamagen (Japan)