15 Feb 2009 – YCAC 1sts vs All Kanagawa | YCAC Gents vs All France

YCAC 1sts 36 – All Kanagawa 10 (HT: 19-5)
Tries: Ryan Rogers (3), Grant Thompson, Steve Gray, Will Whetstone
Cons: Ben Duncan (3)

YCAC Gents 33 – All France 12 (HT 14-5)
Andrew Williams (2), Jason Dunn, Arnaud, Chris Mander
Cons: Jason Dunn (1), Shin Kaneda (3)

YCAC 1sts
In one of their better performances this season, the YCAC 1st XV managed a convincing win over the All Kanagawa representative side.

In the week leading up to the match there were the normal concerns about availability and injury. Sias “Snow Child” Potgieter decided that this was the weekend to hit the white powder (snow rather than cocaine) and was therefore unavailable for this match. Luckily, such is the depth at YCAC at the moment we were able to replace the 6′ 5, 130 kg South African with none other than a Robertson, a surname that has struck fear into the hearts of many YCAC opponents in recent years. However, I can sense your confusion. You are thinking that as good a rugby player as Dougal “The Housewife” Robertson has been for YCAC over most of the last decade we surely haven’t placed this 5′ 8, 70 kg half-back into the engine room of the pack, have we? No, we haven’t lost our minds just yet. The Robertson in question who replaced big Sias for this key encounter was not Dougal but rather the Godfather of Japanese corporate rugby, the 6′ 5, 125 kg Tongan Rob “No Relation to Dougal” Robertson.

Another concern in the week leading up to the match was the injury cloud over Dean “Fish” Stallard, the lynchpin of the YCAC Tight Five. For a number of weeks now Dean has been battling repetitive strain injuries in his thumb (from spending too much time showing people pictures on his iPhone) and his groin (from spending too much time … well, let’s just say the Committee are thinking of renaming him “Rabbit”). However, it is just YCAC’s luck that Stallard hit a bad patch of off-field form leading into this crucial encounter and managed to get just enough (enforced) rest during the week to allow him to take the field on Sunday.

Despite Stallard and Robertson both playing storming games in the YCAC pack it was left, strangely enough, to a Pom in his early forties to provide the mongrel. The ever-young Stephen “Hang Time” Marcon has been a stalwart at lock for the YCAC 1st XV for the past two seasons and often stands out for his excellent lineout skills and his work-rate around the field. However, in this match he added the ability of “enforcer” into his arsenal after playing most of the game through a red mist. Stephen is normally a fairly calm character on the field but after some perceived foul play from the opposition the animal inside him came out and he put forward a very fired up performance.

Outside of the pack, Ryan “Rising Sun” Rogers continued his amazing try-scoring run by dotting down for another hat-trick (taking his tally of tries to 13 from the last 5 games). He also managed to continue his slightly less amazing run of collecting cards (2 yellows and 1 red over the same period). If only the Japanese refs could understand that his misdemeanours are not malicious but just a force of habit – in rugby league you don’t need to use your arms when you tackle …


YCAC Gents

A wise man once said “When you’re confronted by a bunch of Frenchmen, be sure to have your backs against the wall” and the first half at YCAC was definitely a backs-against-the-wall performance. All week, the All France Team had been pleading lack of numbers in an attempt to lull the YCAC Boys into a false sense of security. But on Sunday, they put in a rampaging first half performance. Whether it was the smell of onions emanating from their stinky mouths or the pong that invariably advances before a group of hairy Frenchmen, the fragrant YCAC Boys found themselves backing away in the face of fierce French feistiness. After conceding an early try, YCAC responded with tries from Aussie Andy Williams and the indomitable Kiwi Captain, JD. The Over 35s Tournament had taken its told in mid-week with the result that there was no one left to kick the conversions. This accounts for the “once-in-a-career” sight of JD on the kickers’ scoring chart.

The second half opened well for YCAC with Epps having progressed from centre to flanker to loose head prop. As all props/hookers will tell you, the progression to the front row is similar to the Ascent to Heaven and the YCAC Boys were in total bliss when Aussie Andy scored a try immediately after half time. The rest of the half was evenly balanced until Mike King found himself two yards from the line with a two-man overlap and one French defender. The temptation to side step or dummy was lessened by the fact that Massivo had avoided the end of season bagel-eating ritual by scoring in the Over 35s Tournament. Consequently, Mike flicked a pass to new Daddy Arnaud who raced over to score between the posts. As everyone knows, Arnaud qualifies for the Midget Club whereas his one-week old son is a monster. Does anyone have a scientific explanation? Or have Sias and Luke been a little too friendly towards Mrs. Arnaud?

Chris Mander scored the final YCAC try before All France broke open another box of garlic which enabled their No 8 to steam through the massed ranks of nose-pinching YCAC players.



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