June 7, 2009 had the Tokyo Gaijin out at Misato's Sankei Sports Ground with pride on the line and Rokko East to beat. With several days of rain behind us, the sun was again out in force to make the humidity level brutal and the setting just right for a tough day out on the pitch. It was necessary though as the Gaijin had thus far had a mixed Cup series: a totally unnecessary (and nasty) loss to Musashino; a fair spanking (once we wilted in the heat) against Kurumi; and a hard fought but close battle with Tama. The Gaijin still were without a win but were improving rapidly.
On Friday June 5 the 2009 Junior World Cup kicked off in Japan. A group of Tokyo Gaijin went along to the Tokyo games to take a look, while Hitoshi Chihara's father went along to see the talent on show down in Fukuoka (chiefly Canada and Australia).
Below is the summary of what was sent over to the Rugby In Asialads for their editing. It was also passed on to Jed at the Rugby Round Tablein case he wanted to write something up - it was the least we could do as the big fella was responsible for getting us our media passes. With TGRFC having contact with several of the visiting teams (Japan, NZ, Canada and England) the plan was to go down and get some quotes direct from the players. However in typical tardy fashion someone brought beers and all plans as such were swiftly aborted, especially as, with media passes, we were allowed out of the grounds to buy more beer (with no queues!). Unlike the rest of us slobs, Mike did the team proud and spent the entire time taking photos down at ground level (in the rain no less). Pics will be up soon and some of them are very good.
According to the Daily Yo' this morning, May 10 was officially the hottest day of 2009 thus far across Japan. Across the Kanto Plains we had zero cloud cover, a fair amount of humidity and roaring Spring temperatures reaching 28.5 °C in the shade. Out on the Musashi University training ground it is fair to say that temperatures must have been well beyond 30 °C (86 °F) with the heat radiating from the dry dirt track (not a speck of grass on the entire field). You wouldn't have known the conditions to be "difficult" though, if you were watching the Musashi University 1st XV, that is. They were young, fit and fired up.