Dateline: 12th May, 2013
Midai Minami Rugby Field
The Tokyo Gaijin RFC kicked off their tour out to Yamanashi for their annual game against one of the local teams with a 8am meet out at Yanokuchi. A few guys were late due to an 'acccident' on one of the central railway lines but we were out on the highway by 9am and got out to Yamanashi without, unusally, any traffic problems.
The Gaijin were hoping to get at least 30 guys out to Yamanashi for the double-header against a combination of local teams, Daen RFC and Oval RFC, but could only come up with 27 guys (yes, there are only 26 below.....who was that 27th player?). This would mean that a few of the younger guys would have to play a game and a half. In fact, due to serious early knee injuries to David Chan and Nic Pavesic, Gareth Palmer ended up playing every minute of both games; and that involved a game of two 40 minute halves and then a game of two 30 minute halves.
The score keepers were quite lackadaisical so there was no serious effort to keep track of the scores but one can say quite confidently that the Gaijin won the first game by about 20 points and lost the second one 39 v 37. So the final score ended up 80 odd to 60 odd over the two games to the Gaijin's favour.
Halfback and fill-in captain for the day, Alaister Nimmo, nursing a big hangover, marshalled the side well and was well supported by fullback Sam Deroeck who tackled like a demon and made a lot of ground through gaps that opened up for him with his deceptive running. Mosese Rarasea also scored a nice 50 metre try, the highlight being how long it took him to get back onside for the following kickoff. We thought he was going to have a coronary.
After the game, the local boys invited us to a nearby onsen for a soak in the hot baths, followed by some beers and some finger food. The Gaijin had won but the scores were forgotten as the camaraderie that comes from having a common love of rugby shone through. They are one of the 'friendlier' teams we play in Tokyo so it was with disappointment that we boarded the bus again for the trip back to Yanokuchi. It was a memorable day but maybe not so memorable for some as the bus trip home became a beer drinking extravaganza. Nic Pavesic decided to give out special awards/punishments apart from the usual Man of the Match and Goat of the Match and there was a lot of 'bottoms up' beer drinking going on.
Player of the Day: Sam Deroeck
1. Gorka Gerediaga (Basque)
2. Tomohiro Setoguchi (Japan)
3. Tsunaki 'Don' Tanaka (Japan)
4. Nik Pavesic (Croatia)
5. Andy Tindall (England)
6. Gaz Dalrymple (Scotland)
7. Gareth Palmer (Wales)
8. Takashi Tanikawa (Japan)
9. Alaister Nimmo (c) (England)
10. Hitoshi Chihara (Japan)
11. Bryan O'Brien (USA)
12. David Chan (Australia)
13. Mosese Rarasea (Fiji)
14. Phillip Ferreira (South Africa)
15. Sam Deroeck (England)
Reserves used: Yuji Takaki (Japan), Natsu Kunitomo (Japan), Joffa Harris (Australia), Apisai Bati (Fiji), Takanori Kawai (Japan), Tomoya Nakayama (Japan), Sota Kaneko (Japan), Jo Iwasaki (Japan), Masamichi Itagaki (Japan), Wataru Sato (Japan), Ikuo Fukuda (Japan)