The Manila 10s tournament held at the Nomad’s rugby club has become a regular event, and this year was no different. The mails were sent out well in advance, and an eager posse of dedicated rugby players put their names down as keen tourists. As with most years however, realities of finance and time and loving families forced numbers to dwindle. This year saw a cruel twist as the Tohoku Earthquake on the 11th of March and its subsequent tsunami and nuclear concerns meant that not just the TGRFC but the whole of Japan had other things on their minds.
The Tokyo Gaijin RFC were keen to test themselves against Tokyo Cup Division 1 opposition, in preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Cup, and NSC Ruggers were just the type of team to fill the bill. The Yanokuchi Field, was seriously lacking water, despite being a hop, skip and jump away from the Tamagawa river. In fact it is in the worst condition it has been in for 10 years. (Apparently a lack of powerful typhoons, which usually cause the river to break its sides, led to no seeding of grass last year).
Superman, a team that The Tokyo Gaijin were only too familiar with having played them last year in the Tokyo Cup and in the corresponding fixture two years ago, were once again the opposition for the Champions' League Final. The game was to be played on a mild spring afternoon at Yanokuchi and pre-match spirits were high within the Gaijin camp as the team had notched a couple of comfortable victories in the weeks prior.
The Gaijin turned up to Yanokuchi Field to play a 'Friendly' game against Akanegahama RFC, in what has become an annual fixture. The game was a chance to give new players more game time and work on team tactics in preparation for the upcoming 'big game' against Supermen in the Champions Cup (a.k.a The Cup Winners Cup).