On a day when a trans-Tasman clash was the focus for many rugby followers the world over, it was on the fields of Inagi where the Tokyo Gaijin were meeting the All Jin Jan (AJJ) team for a competition defining match of their own.
The Gaijin had their second game of the Shuto League 2011 against Olivers RFC at Hodogaya Rugby Field in Yokohama. Olivers were a bit of an unknown quantity as they had joined the Shuto League in 2010 and went through the Second Division with just the one loss, to fellow First Division newcomers, Komaba Watermelon Men. The Gaijin knew that Olivers had a big forward pack, and a very handy centre that helped the Shuto League Select team break a 9 year drought and beat the Tama League Select team last year.
A hatrick from debutant Sam Deroeck and a dominant scrum helped the Tokyo Gaijin RFC start their 2011 Shuto League campaign with a comprehensive 62 v 12 win over Fuji RFC. This augers well in a season with two strong newcomers in the First Division of the Shuto League and the Gaijin hoping for a third consecutive Shuto League title.
A strong 30 man squad gathered at Mizonokuchi Station at 8 a.m for the bus to take them on their long awaited tour to Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, to play Ashitaka RFC and Daen RFC in a three way tournament. The initial fixture was slated for March 12th, 2011, but was cancelled as it came just two days after the devaststing earthquake and subsequent tsunami that flattened northern Japan.