Dateline: December 15th, 2012
Vice-captain Shinichiro Nakayama became the first Tokyo Gaijin player to win the annual Most Valuable Player award twice when the 2011 MVP also picked up the 2012 award at the Tokyo Gaijin Christmas Party and Awards night. Shin was voted MVP by his team mates after another impressive year at blind-side flanker. Prop John Herger came second in the voting and picked up the Runnner Up Award. Read on for further awards given out on an excellent night at the Ebisu Beer Station.
Most Valuable Player 2012 - Shinichiro Nakayama
This award was voted for by all the Tokyo Gaijin RFC players and Shinichiro was a runaway winner in the voting after a tremendous year on the rugby field. Not only did he lead by example as Vice-Captain but he was consistently among the stand-out players each week, often leading the team in 'steals' and also making lots of breaks and tackles.
Most Valuable Player Runner-up 2012 - John Herger
John was a clear second in the voting for the MVP award after a great year propping up the Gaijin scrum. The American prop anchored a strong Gaijin scrum which often demolished opposition packs and he got better as the year went on adding a strong running game to his play.
Top Try-scorer - Joe Nawaqavanua & Sam Dereock
Fijian flanker Joe Nawaqavanua and English fullback Sam Dereock finished equal top try-scorers for 2012 with 17 apiece, a fair distance in front of any of their team-mates. Their nose for the try-line helped the Gaijin win many games in 2012. Both players managed to finish games with 4 tries each.
Top Tackler - Sam Dereock
Sam Dereock was given this award for his brilliant tackling in 2012. The one tackle that stood out was against All France when Dereock put his body on the line and tackled a runaway All France prop front on and drove him backwards. The prop did not like being put in his place by a fullback and began punching Dereock leading to him getting a yellow card. Dereock also made many try-saving tackles through-out the year as the last line of defense.
Captain's Award - Richarda O'Shea
Captain Alaister Nimmo gave his award to Welsh lock O'Shea for his whole-hearted effort throughout the year, both on and off the pitch. O'Shea played hard but fair and was solid as a rock in the middle of the scrum. You won't find him complaining to the referee, just getting on with business. He is very dependable and was also chosen to lead the team on occassion when captain and vice-captain were absent.
Manager's Award - Ikuo Fukuda
Manager Joffa Harris gave his award to Fukuda for all the hard work he does for the team on and off the field. Fukuda is a keen participant at training and is a reliable player on game days, missing only 1 or 2 games this year. Off the field his work for the team has been fantastic, organizing tours to Numazu, Yamanashi and Sugadaira. His reliability and common sense was also put to good use when he was the MC at Richard and Hitomi O'Shea's wedding party. (It's a pity his good mate Daisuke Ikegami isn't the same!)
The Gorka Award - Gorka Gerediaga
This award is for someone who does something really stupid/crazy/starnge on the field. The inaugural Gorka Award was awarded to Gorka (fancy that!) for a moment of craziness on this year's Yamanshi Tour. After taking a kickoff Gorka, who hails from Basque country, ran 20 metres backwards and sideways and was tackled in front of his posts. He was then penalised for not releasing the ball in the tackle. All his team-mates couldn't believe their eyes after seeing these events transpire and the Gorka Award was made up on the bus trip home.
The Dirtiest Player Award - Paulo de Berriozabal
An undesirable award given to the 'dirtiest' player on the field throughout the year. Paulo, hailing from the Basque country, didn't play too many games this year due to work commitments but still managed to get 3 yellow cards and was constantly heavily penalised for his niggly play and perpetual breaking of the rules.
Thankyou Awards for Service to the Team - Akira Yamagen, Natsuhiko Kunitomo, Hannah-Lynn Nimmo, Rina Ueshima-Ramshaw, Hitomi O'Shea, Shino Iwasaki
Yamagen and Natsu were presented with Sake for their tireless efforts this year to help get their team on the field. The boys attended all the Tokyo Cup meetings and Shuto League meetings, had to trouble-shoot on occassions, and were responsible for getting the team many 'friendlies' throughout the year, which includede arranging fields and referees. Without their effforts the team would not be able to enter the Tokyo Cup or the Shuto League, or in fact get any games. As a team, we owe them a lot. (I just hope that Natsu managed to get his Sake home without dropping it ....like he did on the Katsunuma tour!)
Hannah-Lynn, Rina, Hitomi and Shino were our most consistent helpers through the year, providing the boys with water, medical help and almost anything else asked of them. The girls were all there helping out, rain or shine, during the Tokyo Cup when the rather strict rules require each team to have at least 8 helpers (Match manager, Scorer, medic, water boys/girls, ball boys/girls etc) or you cannot play. So we really do appreciate your help as otherwise we would struggle to participate in the Tokyo Cup.
Thanks also to all those people who came along to help out in 1 or 2 games through the year. They all count and your assitance is greatly appreciated.