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As Sweet as Sugadaira DAY 1
By Blake Walker.

"Have you heard the one about the yellow milk, a champion team, eggplant eyes and a racoon dog?"

As the sky broke on a balmy Tokyo Saturday, so did the gaijin members, break from a customary 8 hours of un-interupted sleep on the eve of games. A corollary to this being everyone arriving at different times, in various states of dishevelment. Debauchery hopefully accounting for the fashion status (or perhaps state is a better word) of Chris `Peekachoo Bling-Bling` Lucas and the fashionably yet proving to be fatal 40 minute
late arrival of Derek Zoolander and his better half.

After some minor time schedule adjustments a strong squad of 12 players and 9 support staff left with a further 3 players and 5 support staff arriving at predesignated reinforcement times. With support crew travelling from as far afield as Rio De Janeiro, Argentina ( the lovely Sabrina Sauco, hope you had a good time!) the squad looked ready for fruitful times ahead in Rugby Town Japan, Sugadaira.

Departing Tokyo was the beginning of an unfortunate set of events that organisers cannot be found responsible for. If anything it was a complete lack of respect for the wonderful organisational skills of Mizue Sauco and her husband, who helped her by sending a few mailsl. This disrespect occurred in the form of the Japanese Transit Authority who saw fit to initiate a huge pile up on the highway involving a bus, some smaller vehicles, a Tanuki and no less than 3 flying elephants. This caused a disruption to the great game of Rugby, unparalleled in history, and a thorn in the side of the organisers of the tournament as many teams were to become stuck as an outcome.

It would be fair to say that lack of respect was also being displayed by bladders of the travellers in all styles of vehicles. One certain traveller, that in order to remain secret we shall codename Onathanj Eand, submitted after much tooing and frooing. In the

throws of human emotion bought about by the pain of needing to drain, he relieved himself into what was called by eyewitness accounts a "drink container". 1 litre no more no less. Then due to an untimely techtonic shift in the pacific plate, he by accident, opened the window and discarded said liquid onto a public highway. The horror of the onlookers faces was something that would become a highlight of the journey to Sugadaira.

This was further supplemented by a lovely truck driver who in the boredom of the wait, produced a pair of tweezers and plucked his stomach of several hairs (just below the naval but above the pant line) with consumate ease.

The long wait punctuated by pit-stops, car park touch, ?nani kore`s? and dubious DJing choices meant that we arrived in Sugadaira behind schedule. By 4 and a half hours for a 3 hour trip. We were therfore in absolutely no state to play rugby.

However in true TGRFC fashion we threw off the shackles of oppression and a crappy build up and put our mind to the game ahead. Yup, it was superb to watch as we ran in tries from all over the field with 2 to the ever reliable hands of Steve `oh, oh, he caught the ...` Bull. A great effort saw us charge to a 38 - 0 scoreline.

The game was effectively a blur as we struggled to come to terms with a strange 10`s formation of 3 forwards and 7 backs, and a long journey. But in true ?nani kore? style also of annoyance was the number of injuries. Further blurring occurred to Hughes- san in what was a nasty head clash which required twelve stitches just above his eye. Later he confirmed he ?skidjaneh`d it?. Thats ?suki jyanai? (didnt like) in Shaun japanese. It would eventually blow up like a Nasu (eggplant) growing on his eye, and shot fear in to the civilians who`d never seen a 6 foot aussie with a battered face walking into an Onsen. The drunker he got later in the night the uglier it got.

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Due to scheduling the TGRFC had to back up after their first game ten minutes later. Looking decidedly wary, they took the field in new shirts and lease of life and performed bravely without being efficient. They ran out to a 17 - 0 lead by the beginning of the second half but were beginning to tire in the face of some strong offence. Especially coming from a skilled pairing of inside backs that even a team as good as the British and Irish Lions would have been happy to have had. However, the TGRFC defense proved to be just strong enough and we held out for a 17 - 12 win.

After an executive order to change quickly the team was on its way to the lovely ----- hotel, and a night of entertainment by in house performer Q Chan. Showing the maturity that permeates the TGRFC, the team showed complete respect for the sign and its wish for customers to not teach the bird bad language.

A lovely dinner and the beer flowing and we were all in anticipation of a quiet night and a fun game of charades. It did not eventuate. To our shock and surprise we had been named Sugadaira Tens Champions for 2005 due to a superior points differential. This

was therefore the second tournament in a row the team had won, so a celebration was on the cards. Further to this was Mr Sauco applying all his artificial intelligence know- how to the Sugadaira team representatives janken (rock, paper, scissors) competition. Performing bravely with a broken finger, potentially life threatening, he won that competition also and compiling a formidable record for TGRFC teams of the future to live up to. Subsequent TV articles had us being talked about amongst great rugby teams like the Crusaders, All Blacks invincibles of 1924 and the 2005 British and Irish Lions ( pick the error ).

At about 9.30 pm the cake came out for resident team porn star Heats `t back` Devlin and his birthday celebration. I believe he was turning 7. More beer and post match analysis followed, assisted by video, into the early hours of the morning.

Several members were to make it out to town that night, much to the detriment of their rugby capabilities the next day. They fought their way through the crowds to a bar that had a reputation as the " the only bar in Sugadaira to go to, really." After helping to boost the economy of the town in the way the TGRFC knows best, we once again fought our way back through the crowds to the hotel. {Manager Joffa Harris`s insert ? Before leaving the only bar seemingly open in town, the team members who had not gone to bed were subject to some of the worse singing ever heard. ?God save the Queen?, the ?Haka? and ?I`m on top of the world? were just some of the renditions belted out by Captain Blake Walker. They brought tears to the eyes of the guys left at the bar ? and it wasn`t just because it was funny. Walker then allowed any remaining guests and the bar staff to paint his face and body with a marker. He happily let the waitress draw circles around his nipples and gut and somebody write ??Fat C***? on his neck. All I can say Blake is ?Don`t give up your day job!!? }. It was on the way that Blake believed he had found the culprit of the days traffic jam just out of tokyo. Tanuki-san had escaped detection of the Kanto region traffic authorities, but we would not escape the detection of Bunter`s eagle eye. Although he had already died of his injuries suffered by causing the pile up much information was soon to be obtained.

In an effort to stop the expected TGRFC Sugadaira Rugby Romp, he was launched covertly to intercept and waylay the TGRFC team bus. He failed in his attempt but it was seen fit to give him a proper burial under the front left hand wheel of the team bus for trying so admirably.

Little did he know of the magic that would be conjured by the TGRFC starting at 11.15 of that Sunday morning. It was to come after Blake Walker, representing the previous days competition winners ie. TGRFC, had made one of the most memorable English speeches about Rugby in ???well???.Sugadaira on a Sunday morning at 9:30am.


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As Sweet as Sugadaira DAY2
By Heats Devlin.


A night of debauchery and funny business with roadkill might not have made the local press, but the Gaijins continuing domination of Japanese Rugby is bound to start making headlines.

Considering the late night tactics session involving the unofficial new team mascot "Raccoon Dog", Capitano Bunta obviously deemed the Gunma Who (perhaps they would prefer to remain nameless) a definite threat.

After an early morning bath, Bunts had the troops mobile, and we were all set for what would be one of our better days.

Gunmas destiny as a threat to be fulfilled however, as almost right from the kick off, a sweeping pass and some elusive footwork sent Birthday Suit Devlin away for the first of many Gaijin tries. He would score two more in the first half, one of a dazzling back line move  sparked by The Shadow Roy, and once from the back of a great forward  drive. The Elephant Man Hughes commented he wasn't having much of a  game for a flanker, but as a back he would have been doing alright.

The Shadow himself was not to be denied. After hammering away conversion after conversion He crossed for three of his own. One of a fizzled back line play where he ran back through the entire Gunma  forward pack, and the other two involving his now commonplace jinking
fleet footedness and support play. And still, he was slotting kicks from everywhere...

John Taxi Driver Dean, was getting a sniff for the try line with two  of his own, both coming from that great upper body strength of his and a senseitional running style. Shadow converted.

Other new recruits Toru and Tomohiro both were showing good promise,  especially some incisive runs at great angles from Tomohiro in the
second half.

It was a glorious day to be a back. Jyoh Iwasaki having a brilliant game on the side of the scrum, displayed his versatility snatching five points. Again converted by - you guessed it The Shadow.

The Gunma Who? had a strong scrum and kept the pressure on Scramjet Takeda, all day. Testament to his strong form of late he never tired -
delivering first class service and being rewarded with a try for some quick thinking and elusiveness behind the pack.

Of our ring ins from Shinjuku Jack even managed to cross the line after a great break by Jyoh Iwasaki, who must have decided to share the wealth. Unlike Shadow who just kept on kicking them, until he missed one, but then made up for it with a sweet drop goal from just off centre about 30 out.

The points never would have come if not for some great solid play from the engine room. Jesse The Cutlass kept bringing down dazzling lineout wins. Arthur MIA Strang was back and was lethal around the field turning over ball.

In short, an inspired team effort capped off by a 38 point hall for The Shadow, out of 78 points total.
A successful trip after taking out the tourney the day before and no one contracting rabies.

A big thanks goes out to The Zenkai Beers and Shinjuku Jack for helping us out with numbers.

And a big thanks to all the supporters who came along to help out - we hope you had a great time - we all did!!!

And an extra special thanks to our Web Master and his Mistress - Mauro and Mizue - for making it all come together.