League: Champion’s League – as winners of the Shuto League with 5 out of 6 wins the Tokyo Gaijin were to represent that league in a knockout Champion’s League. First up opposition were Ichikawa Rush who were Champions of the Ichihara League (Chiba).
From the very beginnings of the game there were warning signals that we in attendance at the game on this chilliest of days, may have visited upon us the infamous TGRFC Bogeyman. Many teams besides TGRFC also seem to be vexed by their own on occasion; in the case of our own venerable club, as recently as two years ago, there seemed to be not one, but at least two or three actually in residencewithin the team (whether or not it is mere coincidence that his/their existence is numerically identical to that of the Sydney and Adelaide contingent** in the team may be a matter too controversial, emotional and divisive to devote much time to given the restraints of space and time in producing a not too lengthy, but precise nonetheless, match report. (Watch out for a piece on that at a later date!)
So & Aki Nagashima are the proud new parents of a baby son – Takeshi (pictured above). It is also rummored that there are other deliverys on the way. I think Joffa will be retired by the time he is ready to play for the Gaijin.
There have been a few birthdays in the team recently. Erin Hughes turned 36 on the 25th of January. Mauro Sauco turned 32 on Australia Day, the 26th of January and Lonnie Childress turned 29 on the same day. Lonnie had a big night and missedthe game against YCAC the next day. Joffa Harris turned 40 on Sunday the 20th and scored a try to commemorate the occasion. Apparently Lonnie did not score.
On January the 27th the Tokyo Gaijin RFC played the Yokohama Country and Athletics Club (YCAC). The pervious encounter had seen a big win to the YCAC. In fact the Gaijin hadn’t won down at the home field of the YC&AC for a number of years. The Gaijin were hoping this was to be the day that that would all change. There was a general feeling amongst the TGRFC supporters that the referee was not up to par when the ball was kicked off…then he blew the whistle to start the game. Strange that one! The Gaijin players thought so too as they stood around watching the ball roll into touch. There were to be more blunders from the man in the middle as the game wore on. The lineout was given and the YCAC were immediately on the front foot. They camped down in the Gaijin 22 for the next 5 minutes with some concerted rucking and mauling. Gaijin prop Rob Poulton was assisted off the field at about the 5-minute mark with a lower leg injury. It was no place for the feint hearted. Soon after, the constant pressure told and a YCAC forward dived over between the uprights. With the successful conversion the YCAC were away to an early 7v0 lead. Not long after the ensuing kickoff a beautifully placed Matt Downer kick put