The first game of the season for Tokyo Cup 2012 was against a team with a formidable record. They had previously played in higher divisions and won the 1st Division last year. Koryo who is a team made up of a large number of players who had attended the North Korean School here in Tokyo and were renowned for the tough approach to the game and strong team work ethic. From the outset it proved to be a tough battle with not alot in it at the end of the game.
The tournament started for me on Wednesday night when I arrived at the Oxford Suites Hotel and met up with Team Manager Chris Lucas, who was good enough to make sure that I was all checked in and well looked after.
I then went downstairs to the hotel lobby where the waiting started...
The one thing I've noticed about rugby tours is that you spend ages waiting for everyone to arrive. Usually most people are on time, it is just the last 2 or 3 that result in everyone hanging around for an average of about half an hour while the dozy few take their time getting there - on one occasion that was me after closing my eyes for "5 minutes" after taking a shower! :-(
The weekend of the 17th and 18th of March, 2012, was one of the biggest on record in the 20+ year history of the Tokyo Gaijin. Not only was it the first time that the Tokyo Gaijin had earned the right to play in the final of the Cup Winners Cup, but they had earned the right to do so by beating two of the strongest teams in the compeitition in qualification. Added to this was the unfortunate timing of the final, as it clashed with the long planned tour of the Tokyo Gaijin to the Manila Tens as they have done every year for the past six years.