Shuto round 2: All Jin Jan
December 31, 2022
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Shuto round 3: Tokyo Crusaders

Well on a hot October day, this is the game that everyone had been waiting for: Battle of the Gaijins, Tokyo Gaijins vs. Tokyo Crusader.  This long awaited game has been on hold for a while due to COVID.  With a lot of beef to settle, both teams were fairly pumped in what would be a very contested match.

Straight from the get go, the Crusaders broke through the Gaijin defence to score first blood.  This was not a good start and it was not getting any better with the Crusaders scoring another after another 5 minutes.  It was starting to look fairly one-sided with the Gaijins having to defend hard to make sure that the Crusaders didn’t widen the gap.  Errors from both sides held the scoreline for the majority of the first half.  As the first half was about to come to a close though the Gaijins were able to rake one back with a great showcase of hands in the backs from a ruck in the enemy 22, finished off by Keita Suzuki.  This would be the start for more to come from the Gaijin offense.

Halftime Score:  10-12

The second half started where it left off, with Gaijins scoring another to take back the lead.  Taro Miyao took a quick penalty, which he took himself over the line to score.  Gaijins had a bit of a scare when the Crusaders went over the line a few minutes later, but knock-on in the try zone played in our favor.  10 minutes into the second half the Gaijins scored again.  A beautiful play from the backs opened a gap in the opposition defence to make for a great 30m finish for Kohei Mitsuhashi.  Soon after Gaijins scored another: after earning a penalty in our own 22m, the following line-out led to fluid hands between the forwards and backs, ending in the hands of Conan O’Sullivan over the white line.  As the game seemed to fizzle out, in the dying moments of the game, the Gaijins were not looking to stop and scored another two tries courtesy of Jamal Slaughter and Yuta Oba.  Both like the previous try were from a breakdown followed by fluid hands from both forwards and backs alike.

As the fianl whistle was blown, players and supporters from the Gaijins let out a huge roar after what started as a huge uphill battle, turned into a hard-fought victory, settling the score until the next time we meet again in the next Shuto League.

Final Score: 48-12

This is the match video. Enjoy it.

Thanks a lot to Haruna Setoguchi for recording the game.

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