Tokyo Cup 2nd Division – 3rd Round 2007 (Sunday 20 May) Tokyo Gaijin RFC v NSC Ruggers
On a fine but windy day at the Kizoochi Rugby Grounds, the Tokyo Gaijin were knocked out of the 2007 Tokyo Cup through a narrow loss to a highly motivated Nippon Steel Corporation (NSC) Ruggers.
The first half started with the NSC Ruggers electing to run towards the river end of the ground. This gave them a slight wind advantage, although the breeze was essentially a cross-field one. The Gaijin got off to their customary slow start, conceding two early tries to the NSC Ruggers – one a pushover from a five-meter scrum, the other a classic winger’s try in the corner.
The Gaijin did manage to hit back next with a classic winger’s try of their own though when Andy Ballard came off the blind and stormed through a gap nicely set up for him by the inside backs. Shaunne Hughes converted to cut NSC’s lead to 10 – 7.
First and foremost, we would like to say thank you to all of our supporters who came out and helped us for the game. The weather was miserable and the ground was a mess, but without you we couldn’t have played in the mud. Now, on to the story.
Fired up by their recent success in the first round of the Tokyo Cup tournament, the TGRFC once again headed to Kizoochi Rugby Grounds in hopes of putting another victory under its belt. While May 6 may have been a beautiful day in many parts of the world, with couples strolling leisurely through sunny parks and children playing in grassy knolls, this was not the case in the dreary outskirts of Tokyo.
With a grey sky, continuous rain, and soup for a field, the conditions were perfect for two things: Spartans defending Thermopylae and stressed-out working men playing Rugby. Throw a little bad blood between teams into the mixture and the stage was set for a classic TGRFC battle. The boys were also hoping for a little revenge from last year’s narrow loss to the Donkeys.
After a thorough dress check to ensure that no players had faded shorts and that their underwear was color coordinated, the Gaijin took the field ready to take on the Donkeys, the weather, and a thoroughly incompetent referee.
First point of note was the rather disappointing and tardy turnout, but we hope this is due to the active schedules that many of the Gaijins have on weekends with charity events and missionary work and so on which prevented them voicing their opinion in this forum. The attendees were as follows:
On the 24-25 March the Tokyo Gaijin were to participate in their third Manila Tens. Having won the coveted Most Festive Team Award they were out to reclaim this and try to win some more silverware on the paddock. The squad had been decimated by last minute pullouts, losing four players in the three weeks beforehand due to work commitments or money problems. The eventual squad was: 1.Joffa Harris (Captain) 2.Stuart Thompson (Vice Captain) 3.Niall Conlon (Manager) 4.Jo Iwasaki 5.Peter Harris 6.Rob Harris 7.Lawrence Hii 8.Nick Rudd 9.Toru Kanamori 10.Mike Parks 11.Steven Doggett 12.Alaister Nimmo (injured tourist) The squad was also joined by two helpers, Medic and Girl Friday, Shino Iwasaki, and another helper in the form of Terumi Nasu.