The Gaijin had a tough mission in their first round Shuto League clash at Akigase Koen near Musashi Urawa. They were up against League newcomers: Koryo RFC. Until recently Koryo were even above Tokyo Cup 1st Division and played in the East Japan Division. The Gaijin had played them in the Tokyo Cup 1st Division (after their demotion) 2 years ago and despite having a strong squad, narrowly lost. If they wished to get their Shuto League season off to a good start and win the trophy they desperately coveted after being runners up for the past two years, then they would need to play as well as they could.
The Tokyo Gaijin RFC gathered at Tatsumi Rugby Ground for their last game of the spring season hoping to finish off with a win before the summer break. The Gaijin had two new players in halfback Alex Moule and Kazuhiro Takeshita, and Warren Adamson was making his return after a 3 year absence. The talking point, though, was the 15's debut for the Gaijin of 18 year old school boy Apisai Bati Junior (he had played a few minutes in a 10's competition 2 years ago), the son of club stalwart Apisai Bati.
It was to be Bati Senior though who stole all the limelight as everything he touched turned to gold. Bati broke the club record currrently held by two current members in Joe Nawaqavanua and Sam Dereock of 5 tries. He finished the match with an incredible 6 tries. Not to be outdone his son, Bati Junior, scored the only other try of the game for the Gaijin.
The Tokyo Gaijin RFC were pumped up and ready to bring home some silverware from the Shuto League 10's. The Tokyo Gaijin had two teams in the 24 team competition and were hoping to emulate the Southern Hemisphere TGRFC of 2010 and 2013 as past winners of the tournament. The Southern Hemisphere TGRFC were keen to make it back-to-back victories and become Champions once again after winning the event last year. The Northern Hemisphere TGRFC were just as keen to take it away from them. The build-up and banter between the two made for an interesting week prior to the day.
The finalists of the Shuto League Tens - Runners-up TGRFC Southern Hemisphere & winners Nihon University OB's
The Tokyo Gaijin RFC, having finished their Tokyo Cup season, played a Friendly game against Zenkai Beers (and a few company player ring-ins) at the lovely Tatsumi Complex in central Tokyo. It was a game played in 27 minute thirds (That's right....and don't ask me why) and the Gaijin were actually outscored in the first and third parts of the game but a 35 point unanswered flurry in the second third helped them to victory in the high scoring game.