25 Oct 2009 – YCAC Gents vs Fujisawa West | YCAC 1sts vs Ajisai

Match reports by Joe Fisher
Photos by Kyoko Obayashi
Gents photos
1sts photos
YCAC 2nd Team 10, Fujisawa West 7 (HT: 0-0)

YCAC 1st Team 29, Ajisai 7 (HT: 17-7)

YCAC 2nd Team
Epic. That is the only adequate word. Down 7-5 going into the last play of the game and scoring a try to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat – it just can’t get any better than that …

Fujisawa West are one of the stronger opponents on the Gents fixture list. They are always competitive and on their day they can be very good indeed. However, the Gents were also fielding a strong line-up for this match so all the ingredients for the great game it ended up being were there right from the beginning.

Nothing could separate the teams during the first half and the score was still nil-all at the break. The deadlock continued for the first part of the second half before Fujisawa scored (and then converted) a very good try on the wing with about 15 minutes remaining.

7-0 to Fujisawa.

After conceding a converted try at this stage of such a tight match it would have been easy for heads to drop, but veterans Fraser “Buffalo Butt” Jamieson and Jason “The Don” Dunn rallied the troops superbly and YCAC soon hit back with an excellent try of their own, finished off by the youngster Jack “I’m so flexible I can give myself a …” Hatch.

Buffalo Butt Jamieson stepped up to take the conversion and, following the strategy of the conquistador leaders who scuttled their own ships to make sure their troops gave no thought of retreat, deliberately missed it to give the YCAC players no option of trying to play out a draw.

7-5 to Fujisawa

After YCAC’s score Fujisawa came back strongly and YCAC were very lucky not to concede a try when a Fujisawa player was driven over the line following some strong mauling. If the referee was normal Gents ref, Steve “The Vicar” Lewis, then such a fortuitous decision would not have been entirely unexpected. However, Vicar was nowhere to be seen (he was over at the Brunei 7’s on Judicial Officer duties) and it was actually one of Nagai-san’s young charges from the Kanagawa League who made the crucial call that the ball had been held up.

Lifted by this decision YCAC soon went back onto the attack after a punt from BJ Hatch inside his own 22 finished a meter short of the Fujisawa line. A series of charges followed before the ball eventually made its way into the hands of the smallest man on the pitch, “Caviar” Ken Noguchi, who spotted a gap that only he could fit through and burrowed his way over for the match-winning try.

With victory assured Buffalo Butt Jamieson graciously decided there was no need to inflict any further hurt on the opposition and proceeded to deliberately miss the final conversion.

10-7 to YCAC

Joe

YCAC 1st Team
Ajisai are one of the stronger teams in the Kanagawa League 1st Division so the YCAC 1st team was really looking forward to this match. It was therefore very disappointing when Ajisai announced an hour before kick-off that they were short of numbers due to a number of their players coming down with influenza. This resulted in an automatic win to YCAC in terms of the Kanagawa League competition but with Ajisai borrowing some players from Fujisawa West and YCAC’s own Aminiasi “Mini” Momo agreeing to play for the opposition a match was still able to go ahead, which was a good thing because it ended up being a very hard-fought contest.

If it was the Australians who were the starring nation for YCAC last week then it was the Fijians who took the honours for this match: Mini played like a demon at flanker for Ajisai, making a real nuisance of himself and prompting a decision to never agree to lend him to the opposition again, “Judo” Joe Naulu played an excellent half on the wing and (Fijian-born) YCAC veteran Eps “Little Cuzzy Bro” Tuibenau was his normal dynamic self, playing the first half at wing and the second half at flanker and scoring a try from each position.

The rise of the youngsters was talked about last week and the trend continued for this match with nine of the starting line-up (and all of the points scorers) under thirty. However, once again, the veterans made sure they weren’t forgotten – Erich “Freezer” Friess (prop) held his own marking a former corporate player, Ben “Angry Fox” Duncan (flyhalf) used the wind beautifully with his tactical kicking in the second half and Grant “Mr. Normal” Thompson (inside center) was has usual effective self in the YCAC mid-field.

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