Crusaders put to the sword. (Sunday 2nd September – Shuto League ,Yanokouchi, Tokyo, Japan )
Much like the their forefathers, this group of mortal men would not live up to the reputation set them by their predecessors.
The teams gathered at the beautiful setting of the Yanokouchi ground for the 2 pm kickoff for the first game of the summer/autumn competition, the Shuto League. The ground, which is a couple of yards short, would test the capacities of the two foreign- based player teams in this competition. As we would find at the end of the match, the Crusaders would also be short of a couple of yards.
This was a game that would become punctuated by calls for support (or screams of intolerable pain still to be deciphered), short bursts of bad language and the most unfortunate but always necessary blowing of a whistle.
The game started positively for the TGRFC with the forwards getting to the ball and over it early to string some early phase work together. Nice ball was set up and with the ball moving along the back-line early from a good platform, the Gaijin supporters found themselves all licking their lips with the idea of a good game ahead. Then in stepped the man with the whistle. He blew up the game for some small indiscretion and awarded a penalty for the TGRFC. Whilst we are never ones to complain when we receive calls in our favour, it was an ominous precursor of the way the game would be policed.
The game ebbed and flowed in the early stanza with most of the ground being gained from penalty clearances.
The intensity of summer is subsiding, the season is beginning, motivation to perform is high. These are the reasons that I am writing this series of articles aimed at assisting and persuading our players to increase fitness through running this autumn and winter.
Reasons I think the non-rugby reasons for running are well known. A couple of rugby reasons are: If you are out of position at any point in the match, and cannot run to get back in position, your lack of fitness is harming the team! Tired players are lazy and clumsy. How many times have you seen a team that sparkles for 50 minutes, then starts to commit handling errors and choose dull options? Good fitness can get you through the 80. Leg speed (backs) and strength (forwards) can increase with run training.
Breach of any of the following 10 rules should be brought to the attention of the tourist accused of such breach by the communication of the title (shown below in Bold) of that rule to that tourist or recorded in writing. Such notice or written record is not conclusive as to guilt but shall amount to an accusation and should also be recorded by those other tourists present. Failure to record a valid accusation for whatever reason (valid meaning that on the balance of probabilities such tourist had broken a rule) is a breach of the rules and shall be know as giving a “Reach Around” – All written accusations must be submitted to the Tour Manager by Sunday 3pm. Judgment of the accused will take place at the Sunday Trial upon due process, punishment shall be delivered immediately thereafter.
1.“Dress” - The tour dress code shall be strictly followed at all Tour events with no exceptions. Tour events include any activity engaged in from the earlier of the time on March 22 when tourists gather in Tokyo to travel to Manila or Noon on such date to 8am March 26. For games, tour dress shall mean the tour playing kit for the players and substitutes for the game. For all tourists at events other than games and for tourists who have not been picked for a game as a player or substitute, tour dress shall mean tour formal wear or, as applicable, tour special wear [tour special wear will be issued to you if applicable]