13 June 2010 – YCAC vs Shonan Fuji

Match report by Hunter Hemingway and photos by Kyoko Obayashi
Click here to view match photos
YCAC 20, Shonan Fuji 8 (HT: 17-8)
Tries: Dean Stallard, Tim Le Nevez, Aran Delaney
Conversion: Ben Patu
Drop Goal: Noah Pflaum

It is universally accepted that preparation is a key ingredient to success.

Question: 36 hours before the biggest match of the season, does a ‘cowboy’ themed party for your entire squad involving an all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink deal constitute good preparation?

Apparently it does. Despite the fact that many of the team only made it back to their homes after the sun had come up the next morning this night out helped to pull the boys together and create another universally accepted key to success – team spirit. As an added bonus, it created an entirely new set of nicknames (see below) including the unforgettable sobriquet for our tireless manager – Kyoko “Smirking Beaver” Obayashi!

After a day of recovery on Saturday the team were back to 100% for match day and shocked captain “Slow” Joe Fisher by all arriving at the ground more than one hour before kick-off – probably the first time this has ever happened in the 111 year history of YCAC rugby! However, despite (or perhaps because of) this unusually settled build-up it was Shonan Fuji who started the stronger and we quickly found ourselves 8-nil down after some very good play from the opposition.

Given that we knew Shonan Fuji were a good side (we drew with them the only other time we played them) it would have been easy to get rattled at this point. However, luckily the team buckled down and went back to basics. And they don’t get any more basic than hooker Dean “Jesse James” Stallard (presumably named for his lack of lawfulness rather than fidelity) who scored YCAC’s first try following a good rolling maul. A golden 10 minutes then followed with inside center Tim “Tex” Le Nevez finishing off an excellent passage of play to score in the corner and flanker Aran “Little White Dove” Delaney crashing over from short range.

At the half-time break, captain “Little” Joe Fisher dashed to the changing rooms without speaking to the team to replace knocked out contact lenses for the third game in a row. Ironically enough many of the side have said the last three half-times have been the most inspirational of Fisher’s captaincy and Fisher has happily taken the credit, telling anyone who will listen that it is all planned and that sometimes “less is more”.

Shortly after the half-time, teenage phenom Noah “Tenderfoot” Pflaum gave an excellent demonstration of the unpredictable nature of sport by managing to make a 35 meter drop goal from the sideline and then miss a 20 meter penalty from straight in front. And amazingly enough, Noah’s drop goal proved to be the last score of the match. YCAC hammered away at the Shonan Fuji line for the next 30 minutes but things didn’t start to look dangerous until replacement back Maui “Shotgun” Magele made his way onto the field with the match winding down. Even then, the danger was not rugby related. It was simply that Magele, possibly the most fertile man on the entire planet, might look at one of the females on the sideline and accidentally impregnate her. Because that seems to be all it takes with his wife – every time he gets injured and we don’t see him for a while the lovely Mrs. Magele ends up pregnant again. At this rate Maui is going to have created the best part of a 7’s team before his 30th birthday. Which is lucky for us, because recruiting young talent is likely to be a key theme in the next few seasons – this win ensures YCAC promotion out of the Kanagawa League and into a regional league this autumn bringing together the best teams from several prefectures. This is a level no foreign team has ever played at before so it seems likely to be an interesting experience for all involved!

Hunter Hemingway

Team Sheet

1. Erich “Hoss” Friess (USA)
2. Dean “Jesse James” Stallard (Australia) (cv)
3. Leopold “Rawhide” Visser (South Africa)
4. Stephen “Slim Pickens” Marcon (England)
5. “Cool Hand” Luke Raimo (USA)
6. Aran “Little White Dove” Delaney (USA)
7. “Little” Joe Fisher (New Zealand) (c)
8. David “Deadwood Dick” Dix (Australia)
9. Dougal “Lightnin” Robertson (New Zealand)
10. Ben “Pecos Bill” Patu (Samoa)
11. Tristan “Brokeback” Fahy (Ireland) (cv)
12. Tim “Tex” Le Nevez (Australia)
13. Mike “Bullwhip” Griffin (Australia)
14. Willie “Calamity Jane” Lapthorn (New Zealand)
15. Noah “Tenderfoot” Pflaum (Singapore)
16. Daisuke “Doc” Okada (Japan)
17. Naiki “Mongo” Yoshio (Japan)
18. Sias “Howdy Doody” Potgieter (South Africa)
19. Conor “Padre” O’Shea (Ireland)
20. Kats “He who runs for long distances without falling” Matsuo (Japan)
21. Maui “Shotgun” Magele (Samoa)
22. Heihachiro “Toto” Yamaguchi (Japan)

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