On yet another rainy Sunday the Tokyo Gaijin gathered at a new rugby venue for a playoff game against Rokko East RFC with the winner gaining the right to play in the Tokyo Cup 1st Division in 2009. The pitch at Komaba University was of the Astroturf variety but it made a pleasant change to running around in the mud, as it seemed we had done throughout the Tokyo Cup campaign. If the game had been played at the regular venue of Kizoochi Field it would have been an absolute mud bath and I doubt very much that 44 points would have been scored.
To backtrack a little, the TGRFC had finished second in the Tokyo Cup 1st Division (after losing the final 26 v 22) and their opposition on this day, Rokko East RFC, had finished second last in the 1st Division. Both teams were to fight out for a spot in the 1st Division in 2009.
Jesse Takahashi, who had been doing all the managerial work and attending the Tokyo Cup Committee meetings, wasn’t fussed about which way the result went as being a participant in the top level just meant more work for him next year and a lot more scrutiny for the team. Player availability was also causing concern as in 1st division the team couldn’t afford to have so many players out but that was the situation facing the TGRFC on this day with a plethora of players out, due to work & family commitments and injuries.
The team crosses its collective fingers for the safe delivery of a child to Mr and Mrs Iwasaki in the next few days. In a break from tradition, it will apparently be Jo's turn to handle photography and medical supplies.
Still on the baby front...
Blake's parents recently came by to see 3 month old Tomoki. However Mr Walker Senior's originally delighted face soon clouded over upon observing his grandson's poor ball handling.
Said baby is apparently sporting this summer's “must have” apparel... see Mizue Sauco for details
In more Team News...
We won't be seeing Mr. Sauco for a while, as work continues in China. He is behind on a shipment of 50,000 photocopies of Louis Vitton's autobiography.
Out came the Gaijin for a big must win final against a team we had beaten over the past few seasons, the last time being 2004. Musashino clearly were a better side and we expected as much with the pre-match reconn raising the fact that they had 1) not scored less than 36 points in any game in the Tokyo Cup (even during the mud bog semi final), 2) had been winning due to a solid platform by their forwards and 3) they had two classy looking wingers with pace to burn. The Gaijin came into the match after blowing their Round 1 assignment against Fuji who succumbed to Musashino in the Semi 36-0. We had come good since then and racked up some 50+ scores to reach the playoff stage and had won our Semi-Final in the mud 7-0 by playing much of the game within our half and on our try line. As a team we certainly felt we had the character and talent to win against anyone and we were in for a tough match.