2 Nov 2008 – YCAC vs Babaaru Seagulls

YCAC 60 Babaaru Seagulls 7 (HT: 29 – 0)
Tries:
Grant Thompson (3), Kenji Yoshioka, Will Whetstone (6)
Conversions: Ben Duncan (4), Grant Thompson (1)

Heading into this match, the third round of the Kanagawa League 3rd Division, YCAC had a one win – one loss record. As such, this fixture was a $B!H(Bmust-win$B!I(B if we wanted to qualify for the semi-finals.

Everything started off on the right note with a strong response to the availability request during the week. This ensured that for the first time this season we could head into a match with a full playing squad of 22. After a good build-up it was all YCAC right from the opening whistle. We managed to virtually guarantee the win by scoring three tries within 15 minutes of kick-off and we went on to dominate every aspect of the match, never really giving the opposition even a sniff of victory.

The obvious point to come out of the score sheet is that nine of our ten tries were scored by just two individuals. Grant $B!H(BMr. Normal$B!I(B Thompson scored the opening try of the match and then went on to score a further two $B!H(Bmeat pies$B!I(B to bag a deserved triple. Standing six foot four inches tall Mr. Normal looks more like a second-rower than an outside center, so it is perhaps understandable that he has been brought into the pack for the last two games to help address a tight-forward shortage. However, despite performing creditably at lock, Grant made it clear that his preference was to return to the midfield and it was perhaps the looming threat of being returned to the engine room that caused him to put in such a determined effort in his first game back in the No. 13 jersey.

In addition to Mr. Normal$B!G(Bs hat-trick, openside flanker Will $B!H(BThe Choir Boy$B!I(B Whetstone scored an almost unbelievable six tries. Will is a law and history graduate from Exeter University and is currently on a six-month contract as a vacation student at Herbert Lewis, YCAC$B!G(Bs ecclesiastical legal counsel. As a 21 year old who doesn$B!G(Bt drink, smoke, or have any interest in Japanese girls (due to the presence of a long term girlfriend back in Mother England) it was not initially clear what Will was going to add to YCAC during his time here. More sinister ideas about why Will was brought over had been floated, but it is common knowledge that since h! is marriage Vicar has given up choir boys, so it was decided that it couldn$B!G(Bt be that either. Amidst all this confusion, Will has settled the matter in the best possible fashion with a stunning nine tries in his past two outings for YCAC. In fact, seeing Will reaping the rewards of his monk-like lifestyle – did I mention he doesn$B!G(Bt eat junk food either? – is almost enough to make the rest of us reconsider our unhealthy ways. Not quite though …

Beyond the score sheet credit must go to those who helped create the chances that Grant and Will finished off so expertly – hooker Dean $B!H(BFish$B!I(B Stallard had his normal busy game, No. 8 Steve $B!H(BBig Cuzzy Bro$B!I(B Gray was a work-horse on both attack and defence, and inside backs Willie $B!H(BMini Me$B!I(B Lapthorn and Ben $B!H(BSliver Fox$B!I(B Duncan both put in solid performances.

The only sour note of the afternoon was a tactless speech from the Kanagawa League after the match where YCAC were told we had to $B!H(Bplay more nicely$B!I(B because one of the opposition players claimed one piece of foul play $B!D(B in the whole match $B!D(B which the referee didn$B!G(Bt see $B!D(B and which our player denies. As the team representative on the day the writer felt strongly enough about this matter to approach the speech-maker later and let him know in no uncertain terms that he did not think what was said was either appropriate or fair.

The day finished with $B!H(BCaviar$B!I(B Ken Noguchi taking everyone back to Hodogaya station in the YCAC van. Caviar Ken has been an absolute star this season in dealing with all of the off-field matters which go along with playing in a Japanese league and he deserves to be bought a beer by most of the team for all the work he is doing. Luckily it seems that this is exactly what happened after the match as he tells me that his Sunday night only finished when he caught the first train back to Yamate on Monday morning …

Slow Joe

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