On the 24-25 March the Tokyo Gaijin were to participate in their third Manila Tens. Having won the coveted Most Festive Team Award they were out to reclaim this and try to win some more silverware on the paddock. The squad had been decimated by last minute pullouts, losing four players in the three weeks beforehand due to work commitments or money problems. The eventual squad was: 1.Joffa Harris (Captain) 2.Stuart Thompson (Vice Captain) 3.Niall Conlon (Manager) 4.Jo Iwasaki 5.Peter Harris 6.Rob Harris 7.Lawrence Hii 8.Nick Rudd 9.Toru Kanamori 10.Mike Parks 11.Steven Doggett 12.Alaister Nimmo (injured tourist) The squad was also joined by two helpers, Medic and Girl Friday, Shino Iwasaki, and another helper in the form of Terumi Nasu.
NARITA CONVENTION (hereinafter referred to as the “Convention”)
Whereas, eccentric and peculiar members of the Tokyo Gaijin Rugby Football Club (the “TGRFC”), a savage light shining from their eyes, shall, following prosaic yet secret manly practices, again throw themselves into games of blood and lust at the 2007 Manila Rugby 10s tournament;
Whereas, a dishonorable few, jealousy and malice in their hearts, souls rotted with sanctimonious piety and humbuggery, peas in their scrotums (if they have scrotums) and skid marks in their shorts, speak vile and malevolent stories of debauchery and excess to dishonor the proud, thrusting, eccentric and peculiar tourists;
Whereas, such malevolent stories have lead the worthless, weak and feeble-minded to question the honor and intentions of the tourists; and
Whereas, the honor and secret manly practices of the tour must be protected, from the creeping onslaught and crippling demagoguery of the sanctimonious and the worthless, weak and small;
Now, therefore, the TGRFC tourists of the 2007 Manila Tour hereby adopt the Convention also known as the protocols of the elders of Makati and/or alternatively known as the Wanchai Accord:
In a rematch of a close ‘Friendly’ last year the Tokyo Gaijin RFC took on Akanegahama out at Asahi Shinbun Ground in Misato on the 25th of February. It was to turn out a very close match with Akanegahama stealing the game 18v17 at the death, despite being outscored three tries to two. Most Gaijin players thought they had won despite the late try by the Akanegahama side but they had forgotten about the two successful penalties converted by their opposition.
Shaunne Hughes was captain for the day as the Gaijin were missing regular captain Alaister Nimmo.
The Gaijin were to rue wrong options and poor kicking. They also gave away some silly penalties but the referee certainly did them no favours with some questionable penalties within easy kicking distance allowing Akanegahama to stay in touch on the scoreboard. Wade Dahlgren scored two tries and had two disallowed in a very impressive performance of power. The first of his tries was definitely a try (yours truly was under the mass of bodies right next to Wade) however the referee was unsighted on the other side of the ruck. Others say the second of his disallowed tries was also a try but the referee didn`t see it that way.
2006 marked the 15th anniversary of the Tokyo Gaijin Rugby Football Club. The first game was held in October or November 2001. The exact date needs to be clarified with someone who was sober that day as according to most reports it seems that most of the guys were hungover.
The teams` fortunes have ebbed and flowed over the years with some excellent players and ‘colourful’ characters having pulled on the TGRFC Jersey. The teams colours have changed a little but one constant has been the maroon. Another constant through the years has been club stalwart Jerry Brady.
Though he hasn`t played for a couple of years following a rough patch with the tragic passing of his wife, followed by a broken leg courtesy of being hit by a taxi while riding a motorbike, and of course the march of old Father Time he still comes and helps out at games, attends our BBQs, and is a co-owner of the teams` spiritual home, The Clubhouse Sports Bar in Shinjuku. He even believes he has one more tour left in the legs!