Timeline: October 19th, 2014
On a perfect sunny day for rugby out at Yanokuchi Field the Tokyo Gaijin RFC unceremoniously whipped Olivers RFC to the tune of 67 v 7 in the third round of the 2014 Shuto League to stay undefeated in the league.The win was very special for the Gaijin as they hadn't beaten Olivers for two years and lost the Shuto League last year due to one loss and it was a sizable loss to Olivers. Revenge is sweet!
It was a tight first half with the Gaijin going into half-time with only a slender 17 v 7 lead despite having a strong wind at their backs. They had dominated territorially but the Olivers try was all too easy and had some of the onlookers worried that there may be a second half implosion.
Despite running into the wind the second half was one of complete domination for the Gaijin. The scrum weakened but the scoreboard didn't stop ticking over, with a few break-away long distance tries pushing the scoreboard past the half-century.
Angus Brown, back playing for the Gaijin after a guest appearance 2 years ago, was outstanding in leading the team around from standoff and making good ground with his boot. There were two other debutants for the Gaijin in Spaniard Guillermo Alonso and Brit Inigo Carro.
The Gaijin's first try went to fullback Toshinori Minamidate. It came as a result of a big bomb from Olivers that held up in the wind. Minamidate seemed to spill the ball forward but the referee ruled 'play on' and he recovered it and sent it on to Kazuhiro Takeshita who showed good pace, drew the fullback and passed the ball inside to Minamidate who ran away to score. Angus Brown missed the conversion leaving the score 5 v 0 to the Gaijin.
The next try also went to the Gaijin on the back of a superior scrum. From a 5 metre scrum the Gaijin put on a big shove. The scrum splintered and No.8 Takashi Tanikawa ran through the middle of the now non-existent scrum to score. Mosese Rarasea failed with the conversion making the score 10 v 0.
The third Gaijin try of the half went to Kazuhiro Takeshita. It followed a 70 metre screamer from Angus Brown that found touch and a big hit from Sovita Tui on the big Olivers centre that lifted the Gaijin. The Gaijin spun the ball wide and Kazu broke two tackles to score. Mosese Rarasea was successful wiht the conversion this time to make the score 17 v 0.
The next piece of good play came from the Gaijin with a 30 metre rolling maul but the next try went to Olivers RFC when their No.7 went through a yawning gap to score under the posts. The conversion was successful and the score leading into halftime was 17 v 7 to the Gaijin.
The ease of the last try showed that the Gaijin defense was tiring and the one-line defense was becoming ragged. With Olivers RFC running with a big wind in the second half there were some concerns that the lead was not enough and that Olivers may start to get on top.
It was to be the opposite though, as the Tokyo Gaijin RFC put on 50 unanswered points in the second half and got some good impact from their bench.
The Olivers RFC threatened for the first try of the second half but Hitoshi Chihara and Toshinori Minamidate combined to thwart the Olivers flying winger after he had chipped the ball through and then knocked it on under pressure.
The first try of the second half went to the Gaijin after a strong run from Arthur levula. He passed off to Toshinori Minamidate who chipped his opposing winger and was first to the ball and then, as he came to the covering fullback, passed inside to an unmarked Hitoshi Chihara who ran in to score. Angus Brown was successful with the conversion. Score: 24 v 7.
Yohan Peyroche was next to cross the line after some good half-breaks and quick recycyling saw him charge at the line through the back-pedaling defense. Brown missed the conversion. Score: 29 v 7 to the Gaijin
The scoreboard kept ticking over when debutant Guillermo Alonso spotted a yawning gap and shot through to score untouched. Mosese Rarasea missed the conversion. Score 34 v 7
Takashi Tanikawa was next to join the try-scoring list when he picked up a loose Olivers ball on his own 22 metre line and outsprinted the defense over the next 75 metres to score under the posts. Rarasea converted. Score 41 v 7 to the Gaijin.
Another breakaway try followed when mercurial Fijian flanker Apisa Bati broke out of a ruck just inside his own half and found himself in open space and stepped on the gas to race away and score under the posts. Rarasea again converted. Score: 48 v 7 to the Gaijin.
The next try came after another strong run from Arthur Levula. An attempted tackle from behind knocked the ball loose from his hands. Normally a referee would call that a knock-on but the referee rightly allowed play to go on and the ball was kicked ahead and Hidetoshi Sato won the race to the ball as it crossed the tryline. Angus Brown converted. Score: 55 v 7 to the Gaijin.
Mosese Rarasea scored next for the Gaijin after the Gaijin forwards rumbled the ball upfield. Hitoshi Chihara made a nice break and passed inside for Rarasea to crash over to the right of the posts. Rarasea converted his own try. Score 62 v 7.
The final nail in the coffin came from Apisa Bati. He broke away from a scrum just inside his own half, sold a dummy pass to the defense, and raced away to score under the posts. Guillermo Alonso missed the dropkick from in front to leave the final score at 67 v 7 to the Gaijin.
It truly was a spanking and probably the biggest score that Olivers RFC have had put against them in many years. The Gaijin had many stars to thank for the win. Loose forwards Apisa Bati, Takashi Tanikawa and Kazuhiro Takeshita were tireless in attack and defense. The tight five did their job with a scrum that seemed to shunt the Olvers scrum at will.
In the backs the Gaijin were well led by Angus Brown at standoff. He marshalled the players well and gave fluent service close to the ruck. Sovita Tui and Mosese Rarasea made excellent charges into the teeth of the Olivers defense all day (and surprisingly didn't get a yellow card) and Tui kept the big Olivers centre fairly quiet with some big hits. Hitoshi Chihara also ran good lines and showed strong defense.
It was Toshinori Minamidate who took out the Man of the Match honours after some elusive runs and good last-line defense.
It was fantastic to see Guillermo Alonso have a bright debut and get his name on the try-scorers list in his first game for the Gaijin. Yohan Peyroche also got his first try for the Gaijin as well. Inigo Carro also made his debut for the Gaijin but didn't get enough minutes to show what he is capable of.
SCORE : TGRFC 67 (Apisai Bati 2 , Takashi Tanikawa 2, Toshinori Minamidate 1, Kazu 1, Hitoshi Chihara 1, Yohan Peyroche 1, Guillermo Alonso 1, Hidenobu Sato 1, Mosese Rarasea 1 tries; M. Rarasea 4/6, A. Brown 2/4 , G. Alonso 0/1 conversions) Olivers RFC 7 (1 try, 1/1 conversions)
Man of the Match: Toshinori Minamidate
1. Tomohiro Setoguchi (Japan)
2. Liam Ramshaw (England)
3. Tsuanki 'Don' Tanaka (Japan)
4. John Simpson (USA)
5. Lachlan Ainley (c) (Australia)
6. Apisai Bati (vc) (Fiji)
7. Kazuhiro Takeshita (Japan)
8. Takashi Tanikawa (Japan)
9. Ryo Takahashi (Japan)
10. Angus Brown (Scotland)
11. Wataru Sato (Japan)
12. Mosese Rarasea (Fiji)
13. Sovita Tui (Fiji)
14. Hitoshi Chihara (Japan)
15. Toshinori Minamidate (Japan)
Reserves: Will Baker (Wales), Yohann Peyroche (France), Paul Bertier (France), Inigo Carro (England), Guillermo Alonso (Spain), Arthur Levula (Fiji), Hidenobu Sato (Japan),
Unused reserves: Joffa Harris (Australia), Hiroyuki Kubota (Hong Kong), Akira Yamagen (Japan), Yoshihiro Sato (Japan), Toso (Japan)