Date: 17th February, 2013
Komaba Watermelon Men unceremoniously dispatched a weak Tokyo Gaijin effort to progress to the next round of the Champions League. The unusually weak, disinterested and unmotivated effort was due in part to the team self-belief and part game approach. However recognition of the very slick and well-drilled effort that the WMM men put together must not be ignored. Their complete domination of The TGRFC meant the 94 - 0 scoreline was now the biggest defeat that the TGRFC had ever suffered.
With the Gaijin finding out just the Thursday before that they would be playing in the game, due to Shuto League 2nd Division champions Goddamns pulling out of the game due to a lack of backs (and probably scared of a 100 plus point flogging), the Gaijin struggled to get the necessary numbers at the last moment. This resulted in lock/flanker Gareth Palmer having to start the game on the wing as the Gaijin lacked backs for the game.
The Gaijin went behind early with three quick tries to start the game putting the team under pressure. At this point management was thinking back to when was the last time a team had put such a big score on us.
Missed tackles and dropped balls seemed to be the order of the day, with the Gaijin backline in particularly poor form. With a lack of communication and some unheroic efforts being put in, you had to question the mindset of the players. An obvious inability to put a man to ground who was half your size, and the obvious inability of even realizing how awful you looked meant the same mistakes were being duplicated time and again. This only assisted the WMM backline who had been gauging massive holes in the Gaijin backline at will anyway.
The bright-spot was kick-offs. God knows the Gaijin had enough practice but at least the ball was being put high enough for the forwards to compete at the first chance after conceding more points. This would soon be put right in the second half when a succession of kick-offs not going 10m meant that restarts were added to the list of "things to work on" for the next training.
At halftime with the score already 46-0 the idea was to think about pain mitigation.
There were few performances that the Gaijin management could take any pleasure from. A solid performance at make shift wing by the lanky Gareth Palmer was a rare bright spot on the day. He was found out a little early with defensive lines given that the WMM backline was gliding through anybody inside him in what could be known as the swiss cheese defensive pattern. He found his feet later in the game and made some big tackles and ran down wingers that looked to have him beaten for pace.
Junpei Shirakawa was the only other back with any real ability that looked like he gave a toss. He was constantly willing to run and was the only runner in the crapline that looked like he might be able to beat his man on the day.
Big Richard O'Shea had a hard first day out as Captain but never stopped trying and was doing his utmost to keep the ball going forward, and the troops with their lips up. He was supported well by the usual crew of John Herger who was working hard in the first half and Nik Pavesic who was working hard despite obviously carrying a very uncomfortable ankle injury. Takeshi Tanikawa was running well from the back of the scrum in what was an unusual experience for him of a back-tracking Gaijin forward pack.
So in summation Mt Fuji loomed large, the day was clear and freezing, the rugby was shite and the Gaijin were embarrassed at the hands of men that take their team name from a big watery fruit of the cucurbitaceae family. The victory may have been sweet for them, but for the Tokyo Gaijin it was more the taste of a rotten, fly-blown citrullus lanatus that had been left to ferment in the arse of a raped alley cat.
SCORE: Komaba Watermelon Men 94 TGRFC 0
Man of the Match: Junpei Shirakawa
1. John Herger (USA)
2. Gaz Dalrymple (Scotland)
3. Takeshi Koba (Japan)
4. Richard O'Shea (Wales)
5. Jesse Takahashi (Japan)
6. Nik Pavesic (Croatia)
7. Takeshi Ochiai (Japan)
8. Takashi Tanikawa (Japan)
9. Ryogo Takemura (Japan)
10. Toshi Miyano (Japan)
11. Gareth Palmer (Wales)
12. Mosese Rarasea (Fiji)
13. Touch Roy (Australia)
14. Phillip Ferreira (South Africa)
15. Junpei Shirakawa (Japan)
Reserves used: Lachlan Ainley (Australia), Gorka Gerediaga (Basque), Natsu Kunitomo (Japan), Motoki Mitsuyori (Japan), Tomoya Nakagawa (Japan), Wataru Sato (Japan)