11 Nov 2007 – YCAC 1sts vs All Jinjan

YCAC 1sts 38, All Jinjan 12 (HT 12-all)
Match Report – Joe Fisher

Tries: Maui Magele, Kenji, Ken Noguchi, Dougal Robertson, Michael Griffith, Joe Fisher
Cons: Matt Creagh (4)

We really should have known that moving the 1sts kick-off forward by 30 minutes from the previous match was going to cause all sorts of logistical problems. The timeliness of a number of 1sts members is precarious enough as it is that any deviation from previously established patterns needs to be approached with Y2K-type forethought. In hindsight, the fact that it took three group emails during the week from inspirational skipper Terry ‘the Hairy Fairy’ Dixon to actually establish what day and time we were playing this match was really an early warning signal and no-one should have been surprised when Terry turned up a mere 10 minutes before kick-off looking his normal cool, calm and collected self.

Other than Terry, the main players affected by YCAC’s own version of daylight savings were a trio of Aussies: Matt ‘Matty’ Creagh (arrived just before kick-off), Alex ‘Currant’ Curran (arrived 20 minutes into the first half), Michael ‘Griffo’ Griffin (arrived just after half-time). (I’ve mentioned before that these Aussies definitely like to keep their nicknames simple, haven’t I?)

However, despite timing issues, the secondment of two extra players, one new to the club (Kenji ‘Red Gloves’) and one from the YCAC Gents (Aaron ‘Sideshow Bob’ Lazeo), ensured that the 1sts started the match with fifteen men. Which is just as well because All Jinjan, much against the expectations of those in the know, turned up to play.

The match started well enough with a try to Maui ‘the Chiropractor’ Magele and a conversion from Matt Creagh. However, any thoughts that this was going to be a walk in the park were displaced when All Jinjan hit back with an excellent try from a line-out drive. Indeed, for much of the first half the oppo were looking distinctly ominous with a well-organized line-out, good clean-out at the ruck, low tackling and strong running. Honours were evenly shared with one try a piece for the rest of the half and it was only some good defence from the 1sts, including one super-charged burst of tackling from Steve ‘Hang-time’ Marcon, that ensured it was no worse than that. The only real bright spot for the 1sts was that their second try, to debutant Kenji, illustrated that All Jinjan were providing gaps to exploit if we could get the ball wide.

During half-time there were words of wisdom from Terry, Ben ‘Silver Fox’ Duncan, and ‘Tokyo’ Joe Fisher – mostly along the lines of the 1sts needing to play a bit more rugby in the second half. Luckily, that’s the way it panned out. A massive hit by Alex Curran just after half-time set the tone, but it was a try to ‘Caviar’ Ken Noguchi which paved the way for what was to be a much-improved second spell for the 1sts and after Ken’s try normal service resumed. In YCAC rugby parlance, ‘normal service’ more often than not means a try to ‘Frugal’ Dougal Robertson and so it proved again in this case with Dougal getting his trademark try down the blindside after a little assistance from Joe and Alex. (Actually, the fact that Dougal only managed one try in this match was a little surprising, well below his normal haul. He was also seen holding his groin and looking worried after the match – we hope that the engagement is not putting too much of a strain on the happy couple ….) After Dougal’s score, Griffo and Joe then managed a couple of tries in what almost seemed to be pre-arranged fashion, with Griffo first finishing off a half-break from Joe then repaying the favour a few minutes later with a good pass to give Fisher a try under the sticks. Matty Creagh kept the score ticking over with a good day from the boot, finishing with four conversions out of six, and the end result was a relatively comfortable victory for the Beautiful Blue. However, with the next match being the big fixture against the Crusaders, the 1sts squad will all need to coordinate their watches this Friday to make sure everyone arrives in time for a decent preparation. A slow first-half against the old enemy would not be a good idea.

(As a side issue, please note that the game against the Crusaders this weekend is on Saturday. Not Sunday. I know, we normally play on Sundays. But this time it’s Saturday. If you’re still confused please let me or Terry know and we can provide further assistance with this matter.)

Finally, special mention and thanks should go to Maui, Ken, Matt ‘Posh Spice’ Dimond, Eparama ‘Ipps’ Tuibenau, Graham ‘Walkabout’ Creighton and the Gents and 1sts Player-of-the-Day ‘Sideshow Bob’, all of whom played in both the Gents and the 1sts matches. Your respective countries salute you.

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