Sunday the 2nd of October was the Tokyo Gaijin Club`s turn to arrive at Akigase Field out near Urawa, Saitama, early ? in order to chalk the field. When T & T (Takeshi and Takashi) finally arrived with the chalk it was time to get a move on. The long grass on the side of the field next to the bush made chalking the sideline very difficult. Some parts had to be gone over a few times. In the end we ran out of chalk with no dead ball lines and only dashed quarter lines and ten metres lines. Good enough the Ref said and our opposition, Koganei Green, didn`t seem too concerned. So with 5 minutes to go the Chalk Gang was able to join the rest of the squad for a very quick warm-up.
The very thought of tattoed Maori Warriors made the blood boil in our veins, never mind the balmy 33 degrees Celcius temperatures that were to aid us in our warm up. Whilst the opposition were not the tribal Zeus`s we were preparing for, they were mature-looking (old), experienced (past-it), enthusiasic (didn't stand a chance) and clearly a well-drilled (not so well-drilled) team.
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.