Sidelined player-coach Joffa Harris reminded the team before kick-off that the Gaijin had never (never!) lost in the first round of the Tokyo Cup. However, seldom has the club faced such a tricky opening fixture, against old rivals Higurashi with past results disturbingly even.
During our flight to Manila (via Hong Kong) the Tokyo Gaijin RFC created a lot of attention by being fully dressed in the traditional touring style of zori (sandals), yukata (summer kimono), and chonmage (topknot). We also had our youngest member, Chris Lucas, in a Peka Chu jumpsuit!
We arrived at our hotel (The Citadel) in downtown Manila (P.Burgos Street - Manila's version of Roppongi Dori) at and proceeded to immediately go out and engage in a 'meet and greet' session with the locals! It's fair to say they were even more impressed with our outfits than the Japanese were!!
?The pitch is terrible, the build-up has been useless,? said captain Fisher minutes before kick-off, ?I?ve played fifty games with some of you, and this is my first game with others.In other words, it?s a typical Gaijin game, so let?s get out there and win it.?
In his last game of XV?s for the club, Fisher was in combative mood, and he led from the front throughout this competitive and enjoyable match.New opponents the Banians had the predictable Japanese virtues of organisation and speed, but in what was also Mike Taylor?s final outing, the Gaijin had all the passion.