18 Oct 2009 – YCAC Gents vs Shinjuku Jacks | YCAC 1sts vs Shonan Playboys

1st’s match report by Steve Lewis
1st’s match report by Joe Fisher
Photos by Kyoko Obayashi
Gents photos
1sts photos
YCAC 2nd Team 38, Shinjuku Jacks 31 (HT 17-7)
Tries:
Fraser, Tom Creedon (3), Kenji, Brian
Cons: Fraser (4)

Yellow Cards: Jason Dunn and Fraser

YCAC 1st Team 66, Shonan Playboys 17 (HT 32-12)
Tries:
Mike Griffin (2), Noah Pflaum (3), Tristan Fahy, Dean Stallard, Dougal Robertson, Brimman Frazer, Sias Potgieter
Cons: Noah Pflaum (8)

YCAC 2nd Team
Evolution is a wonderful thing. For those of us privileged enough to have spent the last twenty years in Japan, we have seen Fraser Jamieson evolve from an under-weight slip of a lad into the perfect specimen for playing No. 10 for YCAC Gents. Speed of brain to spot the gap, large but sensitive feet to chip the ball delicately into space and massive rump/tummy to terrify the opposition to such an extent that they do not even attempt to beat Fraser to the touchdown for the try (for fear of having the juggernaut crush them from above). But evolution also works in other ways. Shinjuku Jacks have learnt the gaijin trick of fielding a few ringers and they ran out with three or four Rikkyo University youngsters. The result was an acute contrast in styles with YCAC keeping the ball tight and the Jacks flinging the ball about with gay abandon.

The YCAC 1st Team Policy of rotating their star players was a great benefit to YCAC 2nds as the eternally young Ben “Angry for the 1sts, But Mellow and Talented for the 2nds” Duncan and Steve “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” Marcon played the first half for the Gents. Steve was imperious in the line-out and Ben was full of running and tactical astuteness in the backs. As a result, YCAC dominated the first half and cruised to a 17-7 half-time lead.

El Presidente Rhino was in charge of second-half substitutions and decided to rest five of the first-half’s star performers. Whilst this is the normal tactic when the Gents play first, it was a slightly unusual policy given that we had reversed the order of our fixtures to accommodate the Kanagawa League games. Consequently, Man of the First Half Kenji “Watermelon” Redgloves departed from the game notwithstanding his long trip from Komaba. In spite of the star-studded departures, Brian “I May Speak With a Thick Irish Accent, But There is a Super Computer Brain Beneath My Thinning Ginger Thatch” Ryan, scored a brilliant scrum-half try by dodging through the middle of a line-out before sprinting 20 metres to the line (Mike Phillips of Wales, eat your heart out).

Fitness has never been a top priority for YCAC Gents and the Jacks began to get the upper hand with free-flowing rugby to please the eye of all but the YCAC forwards. But what we lose in relation to fitness, we gain in sheer bulk and midway through the second-half El Presidente made his most telling substitution. With his pre-season fitness regime disrupted both by injury and his daughter’s Machiavellian plan to persuade her father to buy her an apartment in the States, Scott “Five Bellies” Sizemore rolled onto the pitch and took his customary position in the middle of the YCAC front row. From hence forward, the result was never in doubt with Debutant Tom “The Girls Don’t Realise How Fat I Am Until I Take My Clothes Off” Creedon scoring 3 push-over tries from No. 8.

Shinjuku Jacks had good reason to feel aggrieved to lose by just one score given that both JD and Fraser prevented certain tries with professional fouls (for which they were both yellow carded) and the Vicar had his rose-tinted sunglasses on as he missed a knock-on that travelled a full 10 metres in the build up to YCAC’s final try.

Steve

YCAC 1st Team
“We’ve got a real problem with Australians at this club”
Mike King, YCAC Legend

And so it is. The problem is not with their personalities – most of them are great guys. Nor is the problem with their rugby ability – they are inevitably among the better players in the YCAC 1sts. And the problem is definitely not with remembering their nicknames – it is always just one of their real names with a vowel sound at the end.

No, the problem is reliability – a verbal promise from an Aussie is just not worth the paper it is written on and a team sheet sent out on a Thursday with four Aussies on it is enough to make the captain distinctly nervous heading into Sunday …

So it was a happy who captain arrived (late) at YCAC on Sunday to find all of his Aussies present and accounted for and it was an ecstatic captain when all four went on to have storming games – Mike “Griffo” Griffin (inside center) scoring a brace of tries, Dean “Deano” Stallard (hooker and Captain of Vice) touching down once, and Dom “Dommi” Townsend and Alex “Cuzza” Curran sharing the No. 8 duties with aplomb.

But if Australia was the star nation on show for YCAC’s first competition game of the season then it was Singapore, that rugby behemoth, that produced the star individual in the form of 19 year old fullback Noah “The New Crowbar” Pflaum.

When Will “Crowbar” Whetstone made the decision at the end of last season to give up his life of debauchery in Tokyo for the joys of stacking supermarket shelves in Exeter many in YCAC were wondering how we could go about replacing our 1sts MVP. However, the old saying that “when one door closes, another door opens” proved true and when Noah rocked up to pre-season training we knew we had found a Whetstone replica – incredibly fast, deceptively strong and absolutely no intention of passing the ball (ever).

In fact, with the other youngsters – Brimman “Brutus” Frazer (openside flanker, 24), Rich “Fabio” Watkins (flyhalf, 24), Tristan “Inside Center” Fahy (outside center and Captain of Vice, 26) – also playing strongly this YCAC team had a distinctly youthful atmosphere. However, the YCAC veterans weren’t about to let themselves be completely forgotten and new fathers Dougal “Big Daddy White Serevi” Robertson (halfback) and Sias “Big Daddy Potheater” Potgieter (lock) finished off the win for YCAC with a couple of well-deserved tries.

Team Sheet
1. Daisuke “Silent Assassin” Okada (Japan)
2. Dean “Deano” Stallard (Australia) (cv)
3. Leopold “Os” Visser (South Africa)
4. Aran “Big Dell” Delaney (USA)
5. Stephen “Hang Time” Marcon (England)
6. “Slow” Joe Fisher (New Zealand) (c)
7. Brimman “Brutus” Frazer (USA)
8. Dom “Dommi” Townsend (Australia)
9. Dougal “Big Daddy White Serevi” Robertson (New Zealand)
10. Rich “Fabio” Watkins (England)
11. Willie “Mini Me” Lapthorn (New Zealand)
12. Mike “Griffo” Griffin (Australia)
13. Tristan “Inside Center” Fahy (Ireland) (cv)
14. Eps “Little Cuzzy Bro” Tuibenau (New Zealand)
15. Noah “The New Crowbar” Pflaum (Singapore)
16. Sias “Big Daddy Potheater” Potgieter (South Africa)
17. Alex “Cuzza” Curran (Australia)
18. Ben “Angry Fox” Duncan (England)

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