On January the 27th the Tokyo Gaijin RFC played the Yokohama Country and Athletics Club (YCAC). The pervious encounter had seen a big win to the YCAC. In fact the Gaijin hadn’t won down at the home field of the YC&AC for a number of years. The Gaijin were hoping this was to be the day that that would all change. There was a general feeling amongst the TGRFC supporters that the referee was not up to par when the ball was kicked off…then he blew the whistle to start the game. Strange that one! The Gaijin players thought so too as they stood around watching the ball roll into touch. There were to be more blunders from the man in the middle as the game wore on. The lineout was given and the YCAC were immediately on the front foot. They camped down in the Gaijin 22 for the next 5 minutes with some concerted rucking and mauling. Gaijin prop Rob Poulton was assisted off the field at about the 5-minute mark with a lower leg injury. It was no place for the feint hearted. Soon after, the constant pressure told and a YCAC forward dived over between the uprights. With the successful conversion the YCAC were away to an early 7v0 lead. Not long after the ensuing kickoff a beautifully placed Matt Downer kick put
The Tokyo Gaijin had already been assured of winning the Shuto League courtesy of their 5 from 5 record when they turned up at Akigase Field to play the final game of the Shuto League on Sunday the 20th of January. It was a chance to give some of the less experienced players more game time but the team also wanted to start the New Year with a win and finish the Shuto League with 6 wins from 6 games. Koganei Green Tortoise, who were third in the League, were hoping to spoil the party and with the best forward pack in the competition were a good chance to do just that.
It didn’t take long for the Gaijin to assert their superiority in the back line, with a few last ditch tackles from Koganei saving tries. Matt Downer was particularly dangerous and was soon rewarded with what looked like being a certain try. He had cut through a few would-be tacklers and as he went to place the ball down over the line it came free. Downer claims it was knocked out of his hand by the tackler. Others thought it just came free.