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.
On this beautiful Spring day, with conditions more like summer, the Tokyo Gaijin RFC only had won thing on their wish list and that was a win at all costs after their poor Tokyo Cup campaign which recently ended. They were up against Otowa RFC, a team ranked within the top three in the Saitama area, at the scenic Omiya Kenpo ground. The TGRFC delivered more than that, playing Otowa RFC off the park with an inpressive 94 v 0 result. It was a 14 try romp with Fijian flankers Joe Nawaqavanua (with 4 tries) and Apisa Bati (3 tries) scoring half the teams tries between them.
After a horror Tokyo Cup campaign the Tokyo Gaijin RFC arranged a 'friendly' game a against a Shuto League select we'll call the Shuto Barbarians, in an effort to get back on the winning track. They did that convincingly with a lot of help from their big Fijian flanker Joe Nawaqavanua who scored 4 tries and at times toyed with the defense making it look all too easy. He even showed some surprising pace in one 50 metre try. Many thanks to Joy Kaloumaira for taking the following game notes.