13 Jan 2008 – YCAC Gents vs Koyama | YCAC 1sts vs Chiba Akanehama Fellows

YCAC Gents 34, Koyama 12 (HT 17-12), YCAC 1sts 41, Chiba Akanehama Fellows 22 (HT 15-5)
Gents Match Report – Steve Lewis, 1sts Match Report – Joe Fisher
Photographer – Kyoko Obayashi

YCAC Gents
Tries: Graham Creighton, Matthieu Rosenberg, Kenji Red Gloves, Dom Townsend (2), Yui Ito
Cons: Bryan Ryan, Tristan Fahy

On a bone-marrow chilling January day, Koyama made the 1,400km round trip to play the YCAC Gents. For those of you who would consider it utter madness to travel so far to play 60 minutes of rugby against the unbeaten Gents, please remember that Koyama was founded and is managed by our very own Neil “Teflon” Smith. Well, “Teflon” is the nickname by which Neil likes to be known, whereas many YCAC players have more memorable nicknames for Neil (as does a certain Ellis Over 35er!). Being Neil Smith’s team, Koyama indulged in some extreme psychological warfare and one of their forwards took to the field wearing a “nit hat”. Worried about the risk of getting fleas, the YCAC boys were unusually stand off-ish in the early exchanges, but fortunately Nit-Boy left the field before half-time never to return (presumably indulging in an antiseptic hair wash).

The deadlock was broken with a fine try by Graham “Pole-Vaulter” Creighton followed shortly by an excellent support play try by our prop Matthieu “I Was The One Who Injured Scottie So I Must Be Hard” Rosenberg. Kenji Red Gloves scored a super break-away try thereby disproving the theory that his stylish accessories had been sown together with out-takes from a non-stick saucepan manufacturer.

The second half saw the introduction of Neil “Teflon” Smith himself with an immediate impact on the decibel level. Imagine the inexcusable nasal whinging that always follows England’s finest referees when they adjudicate games involving Kiwis (for the record, you were right Wayne Barnes… it was never a forward pass as the banana travelled backwards out of the car window…). The resulting penalty was thought to be a first in YCAC history as both father and son were penalised in the same game. Unfortunately, this was later disproved following a DNA Test and now the Child Support Agency are tracing a number of young/naive YCAC players of yester-year who were invited to Chez Smith for a menage-a-trois.

The second half brought a spectacular individual winger’s try for Yui Ito and two poacher tries from Dom Townsend. It has to be asked if Dom has Scottish ancestry given that he scored two tries for the 1st Team and two tries for the Gents thereby avoiding the obligatory hat-trick jug in both games.

The Match Report would not be complete without a special mention for the cameo role played by Bryan “I Must Be A Greedy Cheat As My Name Is Ryan” Ryan who collected penalty after penalty by perpetrating every misdemeanour in the scrum half law book and then greedily (and gloatingly) deprived poor old Fraser of two points by drop-kicking a conversion before Fraser could find his kicking tee. Fraser had a quiet, subdued second half which was probably not surprising given the shrinkage of his “Pride and Joy” in the chill wind as he took his half-time leak.

The Vicar

YCAC 1sts
Tries: Jim Brooks, Joe Fisher (2), Dai Okada, Dom Townsend (2), Epps
Cons: Tristan Fahy (3)

After two easy matches to finish off 2007, the 1sts faced a much stiffer challenge for their opening match in 2008. Chiba Akanehama Fellows are a strong, well-organized team – they beat the 1sts last season – and were to act as a good measuring stick for where the boys in blue were at.

The 1sts build-up was disrupted again due a number of players ‘doubling-up’ by playing for both the Gents and the 1sts. However, as there was only one Australian in the starting line-up (Dom ‘The Dominator’ Townsend), at least there were no issues with lateness / people not showing up this week.

Both teams managed to largely cancel each other out through the hard-fought opening exchanges of the match. It was the YCAC who broke the deadlock with some good back play leading to a try to Jim ‘Daddy Long Legs’ Brooks. The 1sts recorded further scores to ‘Slow’ Joe Fisher and Daisuke ‘Silent Assassin’ Okada before the end of the first half, although a try to the Chiba Akanehama kept them well and truly in the match. Indeed, in a tense first half, it was only YCAC’s truly woeful place kicking which lightened the mood of the match. Three misses (by Tristan ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ Fahy, Jim Brooks, and Masa ‘Quantity not Quality’ Nozaki respectively), all from handy positions, served to provide comic relief to players and spectators alike. Nozaki’s miss was particularly spectacular. Barely connecting with the ball, it is fair to say that in the Amazonian rain forests there are tribes of Indians yet untouched by civilization who could have put forth a more convincing impression of a rugby placekicker than Masa Nozaki.

After a succinct half-time team talk from the 1sts captain (“Tristan, you do all the kicking from now on. Don’t let any of those other muppets near the ball.”) the second-half began. Despite the disadvantage of running into a strong breeze Chiba Akanehama mounted a strong fight-back, scoring two tries and taking the lead (17-15). This comeback was partially the result of the 1sts straying into their favourite bad habit – throwing fifty-fifty balls in an effort to score from every play rather than playing field position. A brief summary of the issue behind the posts (“Stop pushing passes and start kicking it!”) rectified this and the 1sts ran out (relatively) easy winners with unanswered tries to Dom Townsend (2), Joe Fisher, and Epps finishing off the match. Tristan Fahy quietly and ably kicked three out of four conversions in the second half.

A special mention needs to go to two players: Dai Okada and Steve ‘Grayshoes’ Gray:
Daisuke – On a high after playing half a game for Gents in the open air of the flanker position, Dai went on to have a great game at prop for the 1sts and was a deserved winner of the Man of the Match award.
Steve – With strong running from the base of the scrum and some huge hits on defence, Steve was largely responsible for the four tries his two flankers (Fisher and Townsend) managed to score on the day.

Joe Fisher

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