Tokyo Gaijins Dominate FK SundayFields in a Gritty Winter Clash
January 5, 2024
Show all

SEA Rugby Odyssey 23/24 Part 2: Tokyo Gaijins’ Invade Bangkok

By: August Ryan Brenner

I’m a proud member of the Taipei Baboons, but I recently had the incredible opportunity to join the Tokyo Gaijin Rugby Team for the thrilling Bangkok 10’s rugby festival. They welcomed me into a training session during a previous trip to Tokyo, and their camaraderie made me eager to play with them again. Since my team couldn’t send a squad this year, I reached out to the Gaijin, and they welcomed me with open arms.

The Tokyo Gaijin are a fantastic group. Their mix of local Japanese players and expats from around the globe creates a unique and dynamic team culture. We bonded instantly over team dinners and even tried our hand at pool rugby! The Bangkok 10s was packed with tough competition, but the Gaijin put in a strong showing, fueled by their unwavering team spirit.

Our tournament journey kicked off against the imposing Saigon Geckos. Their size and physicality presented a formidable challenge, and the match ended in a hard-fought 1-1 draw. We quickly regrouped and bounced back with a convincing victory over the speedy Bangkok Japan team. The Gaijin forwards dominated physically, creating space for our fast backline to run riot and secure a convincing win.

Our final pool match saw us face the legendary Hamilton OBs, a team stacked with professional talent. While we ultimately fell short, we held them to their lowest score of the day and nearly pulled off a surprise try. The highlight of the match was Niko’s jaw-dropping fend, flattening a Hamilton forward and sparking a 30-meter run down the center of the pitch.

Day two brought even fiercer competition in the fight for the Bowl. We secured a narrow 7-5 victory against the Chiang Mai Cobras, thanks to Lelio breaking through the forward defense for a try and Fumio’s game-winning conversion. Unfortunately, our journey ended in the Bowl Semi-finals against the Black Bunnies. Fatigue and injuries took their toll, forcing us to concede to our rivals.

But the rugby was only half the experience; the Kangaroo Court fine session was full of memories of the weekend both on and off the pitch. There were heartfelt words from teammates who flew halfway around the world, comical punishments dealt out for failing to uphold the stringent etiquette and dress code required of any good Japanese team, and lots of eating and dancing late into the night.

I was happy to be heading home after an exhausting weekend, but I was already missing all the fun I had and weighing the pros and cons of moving to Japan to play more Gaijin Rugby.

Big thank you to the sponsors, SAS3 Trading, West Club United, and Nasnos.

Comments are closed.