Dateline: 12th May, 2013
Sometimes, just sometimes, the clouds clear, metophorically and literally, to create the perfect day where fun can be expected around every corner. For me, the 12th of May was this day.
Familial obligations saw the children depart on a little trip to visit the wives friends, the game was across the hill (well within stumbling distance home) and the sun was out with a zephyr blowing down the river to keep my brow cool as a I quenched my parched throat with an icy smooth Kirin Ichiban Shibori.
The rugby didn't require alot of negative attention because it was pretty much in the bag from about 30 minutes into the first half. Instead all focus would be on re-inventing old war stories, glamourising tries that weren't glamorous, selective memory of who scored and how tries were scored, embelishing a fine performance from an obviously experienced referee and doing one's utmost to not crack one through the shorts while glancing casually in the direction of the Tentoumushi (Lady Bugs) managment team.
At halftime the score was 31 - 7. Most points had come through tries with only 3 of the 5 tries converted. The ref was looking a bit like a fish out of water. His shit-eating grin after calling any penalty didn't fill any team with confidence that he would be able to control a game between two teams with a capacity to play beyond the laws.
The Tento Mushi 7 points came courtesy of a very soft backline move in which they split the Gaijin backline faster than you can say "Fuck that was shit defense!"
Probably the best memory of the first half was Berriozabal's perfect foil for former captain Al Nimmo's silver tongued wise cracks on the sideline. Moments after commenting that the game lacked any touch of real class, Paulo put in a great burst of speed, to then do a Jeff Wilson-esque chip and re-gather. He caught the ball with consumate ease and pushed his way through a couple more defenders to put the whipped cream on the effort. Definitely the classy way for the gritty Basque flanker to finish what could easily go down as TRY OF THE SEASON.
Other tries in the first half were scored by Hitoshi Chihara, Richard O'Shea, Junpei Shirakawa and Joffa Harris. Thought was given to crediting his try elsewhere but in the interest of fairness it has been credited to the person that did dot down.
Halftime was a chance to clear out the dust from the nostrils and eyes, have a general whinge about the malaise of most partaking in the game and argue about who was and wasn't allowed to enter the fray for the start of the second half. Poor attitudes to the idea of the word 'team', had seen a couple of regulars benched for the first half.
One of those players with their own form of gravitational pull got on the scorecard early in the second half. Playing as a back he managed to create his own space and go through for a try stretching the score out to almost 40 points. This was after Joffa had done his best to butcher an earlier try, albeit with obvious white line fever, when he decided to in his own words, "There's a hole, so I pumped him once." In heterosexual rugby parlance that means I threw a dummy, and he didn't fall for it so I tried to barge over him. But given his appearance as an angry gay pirate we decided to make the most of his choice of words. John Simpson was the benefactor of that try when even though he had been in space, he still managed to catch Joffa's delayed pass and power over for the 5 pointer.
With Gaijin members even setting up tries against the Gaijin it was regular fullback Junpei Shirakawa and it was a great sight to see. He pushed a deft pass to set up one of his team members on the Tentoumushi side to score and the score was 43 - 12.
The end of the game ended with the grunt up front bagging most of the tries. Barry Lobendahn, Takashi Tanikawa, forward look-a-like Mojee Rarasea, Gorka gerediaga and Tsunaki 'Don' Tanaka all finished the game with tries which pushed the final score out 65 - 19.
The night was young, the day warm, the beer cold and many more would be downed in the local entertainment area aptly named 'empty section beside convenience store.' It really is a great spot and I firmly believe that all stations should have one. Something that I will attempt to scream at the van-load of idiot politicians who drive round waving with their gloved hands out the window next time I have had a skinful.
Cheers to all the supporters, team members and management for their help with the game. A big POTB (pat on the back) to you all. You're all GOLD!
Score: TGRFC 65 Tento Mushi 19
Man of the Match:
Goat of the Match:
1. Lachlan Ainley (Australia)
2. Liam Ramshaw (England)
3. Tomohiro Setoguchi (Japan)
4. Richard O'Shea (c) (Wales)
5. Barry Lobendahn (Fiji)
6. Paulo de Berriozabal (Basque)
7. Apisai Bati (Fiji)
8. Joffa Harris (Australia)
9. Tatsuma Mutou (Japan)
10. Sota Kaneko (Japan)
11. Yoshihiro Sato (Japan)
12. Hitoshi Chihara (Japan)
13. Jo Iwasaki (Japan)
14. Tomofumi Nohara (Japan)
15. Bryan O'Brien (USA)
Reserves used: Kosuke Yamamoto (Japan), Gorka Gerediaga (Basque), Shinichiro Nakayama (Japan), Takashi Tanikawa (Japan), Tomoya Nakayama (Japan), Ryogo Takemura (Japan), Mosese Rarasea (Fiji)