The majority of the guys going to the Philippines to play in the 2009 Manila 10`s boarded their flight to Manila on the evening of Thursday 19th March, and they were a resplendent looking bunch in their tour uniforms of Yukatas (summer kimono), chonmage (samurai hairstyle), and hachimaki (head bands). They were to be joined in Manila by an overseas contingent of TGRFC Old Boys and a couple of guys that had left earlier to enjoy the sights that the Philippines had to offer.
April 5, 2009 - The Tokyo Gaijin turned up at Misato Rugby Ground expecting a tough encounter against Musashino Ruggers in their first Tokyo Cup game for 2009. It was the first time in almost a decade that the team had made it to 1st Division and the team was under no illusions as to how tough the competition would be. Musashino Ruggers had beaten TGRFC in the 2nd Division final last year in the final minute to snatch victory, so the team were hoping for revenge to get their Tokyo Cup campaign off to a good start.
Thanks to Toru Kanemori for organizing the tickets to watch the New Zealand Universities squad face up to Japan's top school (and Toru's Alma Mater), Keio University, at a beautiful facility in Hiyoshi.
Global warming or not, it must be noted that the 2009 Tokyo Cup is probably the hottest I have ever personally played in. Hot dry days every weekend - it is great! Unless you are a 100kg Gaijin forward going into the final quarter of an 80 minute rugby match. The heat had shown up the Gaijin fitness or lack thereof over the first few rounds where we competed bravely but were ultimately put away by a faster and more committed opposition over the final 20-30 minutes.