Four tries from enigmatic Fijian flanker Apisai Bati helped the Tokyo Gaijin RFC to a comfortable win over Shinjuku Jacks RFC in the first round of the Shuto League. The captain of the Tokyo Gaijin RFC and top tryscorer for 2014 is heading up the list again as the 45 year old goes from strength to strength.
The Tokyo Gaijin RFC Northern Hemisphere side has upstaged their Southern Hemisphere counterparts by making it to the final of the Shuto League 10's, however, despite a brave performance they went down in the final to Komaba Watermelonmen by 10 v 12.
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.
This year the trip didn't start very well. The first group of players, departing Saturday morning were divided into two groups. One group was with Murray Clarke, in his car, and the other group was going in a rented car driven by Don Tanaka. Well, Don is a really nice guy and a good prop but, he is not known for his punctuality. The group waiting at Shibuya station was still relaxed and unconcerned when he still hadn't shown up 15 minutes after the meeting time, and considering the traffic would hopefully be still fluid at 7:15 in the morning. After a few message exchanges over social media, the group started to get worried because it was verging on being too late (and in consequence, the team could not join the first match of the 7's tournament). Luckily Don eventually showed up, and the second van departed about 40 minutes late, but the team arrived in Sugadaira in time to particpate in the 7's tournament.