November 3, 2008


CoinOn October 26th the Tokyo Gaijin RFC (TGRFC) had a date with the Microsoft Sharks. A non-Shuto League match played under Shuto League rules allowed the club to get non-regular members more field time. With regular captain Murray Clarke resting a broken nose and Will Thompson also out, this allowed Takeshi Ochiai and Erin Hughes to get maximum time in the second row. Former hooker Mike Tokue, making a comeback (at prop) to rugby after 10 years out of the game, was starting at loose-head and Sou Nagashima got a rare run on the blind-side flank, his favorite position (he’s a bit of a handyman and plays wing and hooker with equal aplomb). The Microsoft Sharks dressed nicely and looked the part. Apparently they used to be a company team and were on trial by the Shuto League as possible new entrants to the league next year, and they were also trialing to see if the standard of the league suited them. I think the TGRFC were the Guinea pigs! Maybe they want Mr. Gates or someone to give them money for playing. That would be nice but they have a fair way to go before that happens and first up was the Tokyo Gaijin.

The Gaijin were led by long-serving dynamo Apisai Bati and ever-steady Yoichi Ohira at first-five, while the regular skipper and VC watched from the sidelines. Microsoft kicked off into the waiting arms of Kevin Rebay who smashed it up along the right wing and formed a ruck. Quick ball saw Apisai Bati make a nice 40 metre break with direct running but the last pass to his supports on the inside was almost intercepted but luckily for the Gaijin it was knocked on. From the following scrum big Fijian Joe Nawaqavanua, at outside centre, smashed through several tacklers to make another 30 metres. The ball was recycled quickly to Adam Shockley, who chipped ahead, but the ball ended up going too deep and out of play over the dead ball line before any of the chasers could retrieve it. It was a very strong start from the Gaijin with Yoichi Ohira, rarely spotted at standoff for the TGRFC, dishing out great ball for his outside backs and both Fijian centres making easy yards out wide.
November 3, 2008

Tokyo Gaijin Vs Koganei Green

CoinOn the 19th October the Tokyo Gaijin RFC (TGRFC) were up against Koganei Green RFC in the 4th round of the Shuto League. The Koganei Club was the only team to beat the TGRFC in the previous season’s Shuto League (Season 2007). Koganei had played hard rugby and employed some "dirty" tactics to infuriate the TGRFC forwards the last time the two teams met with the Gaijin giving away penalty after penalty and ultimately the match. This game began with the intention to go in positive, and rise above the taunting actions and illegal plays, to play a positive game and not lose the referee.

Even from the outset it was clear the referee was intimidated when he spoke to the sides. He apparently did not have much experience at this level and no experience refereeing a “Gaijin” side, which put him automatically on the other teams` side, or at least gave them a good chance to get in his ear. Koganei for their part did not back down and once again seemed to be employing tactics to frustrate the Gaijin - taunting us into a meltdown, which very nearly worked late in the second half.
October 28, 2008

Tokyo Gaijin Vs Fuji Club


Yanokuchi mumblings  Vol: 9/21

On the 21st of September a good squad was summoned to Yanokuchi Field, near the Tamagawa riverside of west Tokyo, to play out the second Shuto League game of the season against Fuji Club, a team that are quickly gaining status as a valued club to base our seasons performances on. The previous match had seen the Gaijin go down; so many were keen to exact revenge.

A good squad meant that we could play the game at an increased tempo, and team regulars could take some time out so that more youthful (or ‘greener’) members could get some valuable playing time. Regular captain Murray Clarke was sidelined for the day at his kids` sports festival so captaincy for this match would be handed to regular vice, Matt Downer. Will Thompson’s status would be elevated to forwards leader and vice captain, and this proved to be too much for the man to handle as he succumbed to a dubious neck strain early in the match and was taken away by ambulance so that he could meet some local nurses.

Our ability to make untrue comments about Will is supported by the fact that Will is doing fine and is expected to make a full recovery! The doctors did some scans on his skull and were a bit surprised to find it empty. Other than that, he has some ligament damage to his neck which will be painful for a while but not life-threatening.

The game kicked off at 2:00pm in slightly wet conditions with a large patch of gravel at the western end that the gaijin would be playing towards in the first half.

October 28, 2008

Tokyo Gaijin Vs Tento Mushi


An excellent squad gathered for our third game of the 2008 Shuto League Championship and there were high hopes that we could play some entertaining rugby to match the superb day that had dawned on Sunday the 5th of October. The weather turned to custard, and although the same can't quite be said for the Gaijin, who ended up victors on the day, it was a far from convincing performance. Within the first 5 minutes, the ever reliable Frenchman Kevin Rebay had made a break and put the usually reliable Fijian Joe Vandell in the clear with a well-timed pass. Inexplicably, Joe spilt the ball forward with the try line beckoning. This was to become the theme of the day. Errors at crucial times leading to a litany of missed opportunities and numerous heart palpitations for those on the side-line as the game drew to a close.

Watching the first half from the side-line, the thing that stood out was the complete dominance of the Gaijin scrum. With the front row in particular working extremely hard, we were able to win our ball easily and also push the Mushi back on their own feeds, leading to a number of tightheads. The problem perhaps was over dominance - at times the Gaijin pack was moving forward so fast