Dateline: July 19th, 2015
The Tokyo Gaijin's last match of the Spring season was a 'Friendly' against Girls RFC (another one of those crazy names the Japanese teams come up with). The team had absolutely no idea of how strong or good the team was (having not played them for possibly ten years), It was new for us and we had to focus on playing as if we were playing against the strongest team we had ever met, which was really difficult becasue the Gaijin were so dispersed. None were really focused on the match. Being the last match of the Spring season, and a 'friendly' one and having a drunken boat tour of Tokyo Bay after the match, it was not easy to get the guys focused. Also, our captain Mr. Apisai Bati wasn't there to add seriousness to the warmup. He eventually arrived at the kickoff.
Another inconvenience was the weather. It was a very hot day that was not conducive to good rugby. After a soft and quiet warm-up (it was as if the guys were suffering from huge hangovers) the whistle blew and it was game on.
There was nothing special to write about in the first half. The Gaijin struggled to dominate. Many mistakes were made. The Gaijin dominated every single scrum but the opposition hooker and No.8 did a good job of moving the ball to the back of the scrum quickly. The Gaijin pushed them back but didn't turn over so many balls.
By the end of the first half the score favored the Gaijin, but there was not really a big difference. The weather and superior fitness helped balance the Gaijin's many errors and make it a relatively easy game for us with little risk of losing the match.
At half time some replacements were made and silly mistakes were repeated over and over again. Gorka Gerediaga dropped two kickoffs and Donny Tanaka must have been envious as he did exactly the same. Paul Bertier was not happy to have France left out of the Hall of Shame so he did everything wrong - 1 dropped kickoff and one missed conversion from one attempt.
Luckily we improved and the mistakes were fixed to open the way to a fantastic game. Gorka balanced his negative account by scoring 2 tries and Jeremy Burns scored his first try for the Gaijin. There were many good runs, including a nice 20 metre run and pop pass from Nic Pavesic to Apisai Bati Junior for a try. Nic's words later were that it was "more likely a 150 metre run with 16 tackle breaks". Jo Iwasaki got 1 try under the posts converted by Wataru Sato. Alex Moule was another great runnner, stepping away from opponents at will, and retiring form the match after scoring a try. It looked like he was injured but does a hangover count as an injury?
As mentioned before, the second half was a total domination by the Gaijin, resulting in a big score. Bati scored one try, Sota scored another one. Mosese Rarasea got 2 tries and Nik Pavesic converted 3 from 4 kicks.
1. Natsu Kunitomo (Japan)
2, Tomohiro Setoguchi (Japan)
3. Tsuanki 'Don' Tanaka (Japan)
4. Nic Pavesic (Croatia)
5. Daniel Barnett (England)
6. Mosese Rarasea (Fiji)
7. Paul Bertier (France)
8. Takashi Tanikawa (Japan)
9. Tatsuma Muto (Japan)
10. Sota Kaneko (Japan)
11. Takuya Ichizono (Japan)
12. Alex Moule (England)
13. Jeremy Burns (USA)
14. Jaimeson Musich (USA)
15. Toshinori Minamidate (Japan)
16. Gorka Gerediaga (Basque), 17. John Simpson (USA) , 18. Apisai Bati (C) (Fiji), 19. Wataru Sato (Japan), 20. Apisai Bati Junior (Fiji), 21. Hitoshi Chihara (Japan), 22. Jo Iwasaki (Japan)