The Tokyo Gaijin entered the Shuto League in grand style by taking out the annual Shuto Sevens at their first attempt, however great that win was it certainly meant that great expectations were to be put on the club upon their entry into the main tournament.
"Have you heard the one about the yellow milk, a champion team, eggplant eyes and a racoon dog?"
As the sky broke on a balmy Tokyo Saturday, so did the gaijin members, break from a customary 8 hours of un-interupted sleep on the eve of games. A corollary to this being everyone arriving at different times, in various states of dishevelment. Debauchery hopefully accounting for the fashion status (or perhaps state is a better word) of Chris `Peekachoo Bling-Bling` Lucas and the fashionably yet proving to be fatal 40 minute late arrival of Derek Zoolander and his better half.
After some minor time schedule adjustments a strong squad of 12 players and 9 support staff left with a further 3 players and 5 support staff arriving at predesignated reinforcement times. With support crew travelling from as far afield as Rio De Janeiro, Argentina ( the lovely Sabrina Sauco, hope you had a good time!) the squad looked ready for fruitful times ahead in Rugby Town Japan, Sugadaira.
The TGRFC has traditionally played in the Tama League but due to that League`s poor organization in recent years we decided to change to the Shuto League this year. As a pre-cursor to the season we were invited to play in the Shuto League Sevens alongside 16 other teams.
The TGRFC met out at Shin Urayasu at 8:45am (too early for some) armed with their new team tent and tarp. On arrival we noticed that there were two fields, a grass one and a dirt/gravel one. We shacked up next to the dirt field as that is what we are used to. Actually that position was allocated to us, but we felt at home anyway.
Before the recent test between Australia and France, Australian coach Eddie Jones was quoted as saying ?There`s the French team that turns up, and there`s the one that doesn`t.? Tokyo Gaijin turned up for their game against the All French at Asahi Shinbun Ground in Misato wondering which team they were going to play against.
With a skeleton of the run-on squad that had played in the Tokyo Cup Final three weeks before due to injury and work/family commitments some were wondering that if the All French were ever going to beat TGRFC then today was a huge opportunity for them. Tokyo Gaijin were lucky to have the presence of 4 new guys ? Patrick Boyden, who announced that he hadn`t played rugby (in the centres) for 13 years and was promptly banished to Lock; Sam Lander, a young Kiwi who works for the circus and had amazed some and made others cringe when he leapt in the air and landed in the splits position during the warm-up; Yuichi, who has actually played for The Gaijin before and the East Japan Bulldogs RL team but is committed to his University team recently and Yuichi`s 19 year old University buddy Taka who played hooker.