Dateline: 28th September, 2014
The Gaijin went into their second round Shuto League game against Goddamns at Tatsumi Field missing a bit of 'grunt' up front with tight-five members John Simpson, Gorka Gerediaga and Tsunaki 'Don' Tanaka missing from the action. After a bit of an early scare they managed to bring home the bacon with a 36 v 12 win to continue their winning start to the 2014 Shuto League.
Despite last week's game being trumpeted as Andy Tindall's last game he managed to drop his leaving preparations and help out in the tight five. Yohann Peyroche was also given his first start for the Gaijin since joining the club back in July before the summer break.
In the third minute it looked like the Gaijin would score when Takashi Tanikawa made a big break but he was pulled down just inside the opposition's 22 metre area. He was then panalised for holding the ball between his legs in a piece of over-exuberant refereeing. Soon after Goddamns looked like they may get a breakaway try but a thudding tackle from Phillip Ferreira drove the player into touch.
In the 8th minute the Gaijin finally did crack the Goddamns line when Richard O'Shea tapped a lineout ball down to Liam Ramshaw who then made a big break upfiield. He drew the fullback and then passed to Apisa Bati who raced away to score under the posts. Mosese Rarasea was successful with the conversion and the Gaijin had the first lead of the game at 7 v 0.
In the 16th minute the Gaijin blew a chance to increase their lead when Eamonn Murphy dropped the ball in heavy traffic. It all started when Takashi Tanikawa made a nice break down the blind from the back of a scrum. The ball was then passed to Apisai Bati and instead of passing to his unmarked winger in Hidenobu Sato he chose to pass inside to Murphy and the try went begging.
In the 18th minute the Gaijin did increase their score when Apisai Bati scored from a 5 metre lineout after jigging through 2 tacklers to score from the 'banana' move which caught the defense napping. Rarasea failed with the conversion. Score: 12 v 0.
From the kickoff Yohan Peyroche made a strong charge through the eye of the Goddamns forward pack after catching the ricochet from Richard O'Shea. Andy Tindall continued the charge but the gaijin backs eventually dropped the ball killing the momentum.
At the 20th minute mark the Gaijin were reduced to 14 men when Sovita Tui was yellow carded for a high tackle. The extra man and a number of penalties helped Goddamns get on the scoreboard when their standoff chipped to the corner and their winger won the race to the ball. They failed to convert leaving the score at 12 v 5 to the Gaijin.
In the 30th minute, just as Sovita Tui was back on the field, Phillip Ferreira was yellow carded for a high tackle. leaving the gaijin with only 14 men again.
The Goddamns should have scored next but the potential try-scorer ran over the dead ball line as he raced around to score under the posts. What a goddamn turkey!
Soon after, with the Goddamns looking dangerous on attack, Toshinori Minamidate took an intercept and passed off to Sovita Tui who ran 60 metres upfield and then passed off to Jay Leroy who dotted the ball down under the posts. Hitoshi Chihara converted to make the score 19 v 5 to the Gaijin.
Good forward work soon had the Gaijin back deep into Goddamns territory but Joseph Vanualailai had the ball stripped and then Apisai Bati was penalised letting Goddamns off the hook. Bati soon made up for it though when he charged off the back of a scrum and beat four tacklers to score. Chihara was unsuccessful with the conversion this time. Score 24 v 5.
They were on the scoreboard again moments later after solid defense led to turnover ball and a length of the field try. Takashi Tanikawa made the first break then a good run from Toshinori Minamidate was supported well by Wataru Sato. He was run down from behind though but a quick recycle saw Hitsihi Chihara stroll over next to the posts for an easy try. Mosese Rarasea converted and the lead was now a big 31 v 5.
The Gaijin continued to pile on the points when a strong scrum and a number of penalties going the Gaijin's way led to the ball being spun out wide to Toshinori Minamidate who raced away to score. Sota Kaneko missed the conversion. Score:36 v 5.
The Goddamns would get the final points of the match when the Gaijin made a ridiculous blunder from the kickoff. The ball was allowed to bounce and three Gaijin players were undecided who should take it and the Goddamns chaser dived on the ball to score. Goddamn turkeys! The successful conversion made the final scoreline 36 v 12.
The Gaijin were well led by match captain Apisai Bati, who finished with a hattrick of tries. He was well supported by number 8 Takashi Tanikawa who made constant breaks and worked hard in the rucks. Yohann Peyroche had an excellent starting debut and made some willing charges and won clean lineout ball at the front. Richard O'Shea worked hard for the 40 minutes he was on the field but fitness got the better of him after not playinng for 6 months.
Andy Tindall had a solid last game for the Gaijin and as has now become custom, did the 'shoot the boot' after the game. Farewell friend.
The backs didn't seem to gell today and were let down by some poor handling and careless tackling which led to two of them being sinbinned. Toshinori Minamidate was the pick of them and made some excellent breaks and was solid in the last line of defense.
Score : TGRFC 36 (Apisai Bati 3, Jay Leroy 1, Hitoshi Chihara 1, Toshinori Minamidate 1 tries; M. Rarasea 2/3, H. Chihara 1/2, S. Kaneko 0/1 conversions ) Goddamns 12 (2 tries, 1/2 conversions)
Man of the Match: Apisai Bati
Goat of the Match: Sovita Tui, Phillip Ferreira (Yellow Cards)
1. Tomohiro Setoguchi (Japan)
2. Liam Ramshaw (England)
3. Andy Tindall (England)
4. Richard O'Shea (Wales)
5. Yoann Peyroche (France)
6. Apisai Bati (c) (Fiji)
7. Taichi Nakajima (Japan)
8. Takashi Tanikawa (Japan)
9. Eamonn Murphy (Ireland)
10. Phillip Ferreira (South Africa)
11. Jay Leroy (Canada)
12. Sovita Tui (Fiji)
13. Mosese Rarasea (Fiji)
14. Hidenobu Sato (Japan)
15. Toshinori Minamidate (Japan)
Reserves used: Lachlan Ainley (Australia), William Baker (England), Toso (Japan), Joseph Vanualialia (Fiji), Hiroyuki Kubota (Hong Kong), Ryogo Takemura (Japan), Hitoshi Chihara (Japan), Wataru Sato (Japan), Yoshihiro Sato (Japan)