23 May 2009 YCAC vs Fujisawa West

Match report by Erich Friess

YCAC 45 Fujisawa West 7 (HT 21-0)
Tries: Sias Potgieter, H. Yamaguchi (2), Jason Dunn, Dean Stallard, Fraser Jamieson, Ken Noguchi
Conversions: Fraser Jamieson (5)
Under clear skies (and flood lights), the YCAC kicked off it’s march toward the Kanagawa League First Division on Saturday night.  Fujisawa West had kindly agreed to move the Sunday afternoon fixture from Hodogaya to Yamate.  With “Not so Slow” Joe Fisher leading the YCAC’s 100km OXFAM walk team (along with Tristan “C U Next Tuesday” Fahy, Dom “Dominos Delivers” Townsend, and Bryan “Ginger Nuts” Ryan), Erich “Dirty Sanchez” Friess made a brief return as skipper.  In fine Japanese banker fashion, Erich delegated the Kanagawa registration, pre-match warm up, team talk, lineouts and most of the on field decision making.

Fujisawa West were a committed bunch and the start of the match saw the YCAC groping to regain its form after a two month layoff.  Sias “Big Sambo, I mean Daddy” Potgieter got the YCAC on the board with a bollocking 25m run (after some nifty passing from Jason “don’t poke me in the eye” Dunn and Leopold “Os” Visser). Yama “Buy some navy blue shorts” Yamaguchi and Jason “Blinded by the Light” Dunn rounded out the scoring in a tightly contested first half.

In the second half, after three years of rehab/recovery and three hours of taping his knee, “Big” Ben Patu returned to his familiar position of standoff, a little (ok, a lot) heavier, but no less skilled (welcome back Ben).  As the second half progressed, we started to wear down the oppo. Yama got his second try of the day and Dean plunged over from 5m out on a quick tap penalty. Fujisawa West weren’t very happy trying to tackle Steve “Big Cuzzy Bro” Gray, who left numerous hand prints on Japanese faces; they weren’t very happy being on the receiving end of several big tackles from Dean “aMuse me” Stallard; nor were they very happy with the ref, who called an extremely fair match, pinging them for frequent off-sides and not coming through the gate.  This was probably the first time in our long history that the penalty count was actually in the YCAC’s favor.  However being on the right side of a ref’s favorable calls was not new territory for the YCAC’s European players and ROW turncoats (Chris “Benedict Arnold” Mander, Brimman “Brutus” Frazer, Rafi “Judas” Khan, Leopold “von Stauffenberg” Visser, Willie “Guy Fawkes” Lapthorn, and Yoshi “Tokyo Rose” Naiki).

Fujisawa West’s lone score came after a YCAC penalty, where we were slow to retreat and unhappy with a subsequent missed forward pass.  Fraser “Big Pants” Jamieson slotted 5 out of 7 conversions and scored a try after gathering a not so well kicked chip from Yama “Buy some navy blue shorts” Yamaguchi that actually went backwards.  Simon “Dancing with the Stars” Ryan, a first ballot YCAC hall of famer, skillfully worked the reserve bench, bringing on Hiro “Buy some navy blue shorts and socks” Iino and “Kava” Ken Noguchi who dotted down the match’s closing try.  Welcome to Mitch “Buy some navy blue shorts” Davis, who played his first match for the club.  The match was much closer than the 45-7 scoreline would indicate and Fujisawa West gave us a challenging time in the scrums and lineouts.  Sias “Big Daddy” Potgieter was their MOM and Grant “Pink Ticket” Thompson was their best dressed.

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