The first match for the Tokyo Gaijins Shuto Leage season came to pass this past weekend and in many ways it went exactly as expected. The week leading up to the match showed that people were excited and eager to get back on the pitch and prove that the Gaijin were the team to beat. Emails were flying about who would start, who deserved what and who had been training and who was truly ready to play. A lot of talk had been made - especially by the Captain - about the potential effects of the ELV's and how they may change the tactics of our play. In particular, the added emphasis on fitness was a focal point. The forecast was hot and humid with a 35% chance of showers. All proved to be correct as weather had been stormy with a lot of thunder and lightening through the latter half of summer. As the Gaijin warmed up on a scorching and humid (post-rain) day, the need for water during warm-up breaks showed how the humidity would play early on. From the start of the match the Gaijin seemed to not be able to find their pace. While there was no lack of desire to get hands on the ball and make plays on the field. Plays were some what disjointed and there was not really a sense that things were firing on all cylinders. Captain Murray Clarke did his best to raise the alarm, and get the Gaijin to pick up the intensity.
Jo & Shino Iwasaki became the proud new parents of a baby girl – Suzu Iwasaki, on the 27th of June. Mother and child are doing well. I am not sure about dad. It is hoped that Suzu becomes a valuable member of the Tokyo Gaijin like her parents have been over the past 10 years.
Rob Poulton & girlfriend Jennifer had a baby boy – Carlos Joseph Lee Poulton on July 25th. Rob flew down to the Philippines a couple of days later to make sure it was his baby. There were no doubts when the baby weighed in around 9 pounds (around 4 kilos). Looks like there is another prop in the family. Rob is back in Japan now working hard to save his first million while Jenny is solo parenting. Looks like a big change in lifestyle is on the way for young Rob.
Blake Walker, unsighted on the Rugby field for almost 3 years now, is rumored to be on the comeback trail. Blake who damaged ligaments in one of his knees finally had an operation at Christmas time. READ MORE...
Thanks to the superb organisational skills of Gaijin stalwart Alaistair Nimmo, the Gaijin were just able to scrape together the required numbers for another trip to Japan's rugby Mecca "Sugadaira".
Having heard accounts from previous Sugadaira trips such as the time when a former captain interfered with tanuki carrion and then the following morning at the opening ceremony (still completely intoxicated), recounted in precise detail his entire career and how much he loves rugby, in front of all teams present, I knew I had to make the pilgrimage and experience Sugadaira for myself.
Leaving the metropolis on Friday afternoon with Gaijin Motivational Specialist Erin Hughes and son Eric, we were hit by the most sudden, fierce hail and thunder storm this Gaijin has ever experienced - hardly an auspicious sign with the weekend's proceedings just beginning. Erin slowed his SUV to about 5kms per hour on the motorway, expressing caution uncharacteristic of a former Marine hard-man, and we slowly forged on. Reaching Sugadaira at nightfall, we realised that Mrs Erin (Satomi) Hughes hadn't bothered entering the hotel address into the car- navi (she'd simply entered Sugadaira, Nagano). Whether she had overestimated her husband's navigational skills, or used this to get back at her husband for taking the family car for the weekend remains a mystery but we were completely lost. Luckily we had young Eric to bail us out of this sticky situation.