An excellent squad gathered for our third game of the 2008 Shuto League Championship and there were high hopes that we could play some entertaining rugby to match the superb day that had dawned on Sunday the 5th of October. The weather turned to custard, and although the same can't quite be said for the Gaijin, who ended up victors on the day, it was a far from convincing performance. Within the first 5 minutes, the ever reliable Frenchman Kevin Rebay had made a break and put the usually reliable Fijian Joe Vandell in the clear with a well-timed pass. Inexplicably, Joe spilt the ball forward with the try line beckoning. This was to become the theme of the day. Errors at crucial times leading to a litany of missed opportunities and numerous heart palpitations for those on the side-line as the game drew to a close.
Watching the first half from the side-line, the thing that stood out was the complete dominance of the Gaijin scrum. With the front row in particular working extremely hard, we were able to win our ball easily and also push the Mushi back on their own feeds, leading to a number of tightheads. The problem perhaps was over dominance - at times the Gaijin pack was moving forward so fast
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...