28 Jan 2010 – YCAC Gents vs Reds | YCAC 1sts vs Microsoft Sharks

1sts match report by Hunter Hemingway
Gents match report by Joe Fisher
Photos by Kyoko Obayashi
Gents photos
1sts photos
Video of Microsoft Sharks Match
YCAC Gents 21, Reds 15 (HT: 7-5)
YCAC 1sts 26, Microsoft Sharks 21 (HT: 0-21)

YCAC Gents

This was YCAC’s first match against the Reds so we had no idea of how strong they would be. Running out onto the field my first thought was that we were in serious trouble – their kit was immaculate (always a bad sign in my experience), they had several sizeable players (including a few they borrowed from the Microsoft Sharks) and I had played corporate rugby with their fly-half five years ago. In contrast the YCAC side had a decidedly raggard air about it with no meaningful build-up behind it due to a number of players being required to ‘double up’ after a full game against Microsoft. However, as is so often the case with the Gents, the team managed to gel on the field, put together a very creditable performance and ultimately come through and win a tight game.

The Reds were the first team to score but they were not able to convert and when I crashed over from close-range and fullback Noah “Pass-a-lot” Pflaum kicked the conversion YCAC were able to go into the half-time break with the lead. Unfortunately YCAC had to do most of the second half without captain Jason “Kiwi Big C0ck” Dunn who damaged his ribs at the end of one of his big runs. However, YCAC did not let the loss of their leader slow them down and were the first team to strike after half-time when winger “Caviar” Ken Noguchi showed some good gas down the sideline to score an excellent try in the corner. Noah again converted and this took YCAC out to 14-5 lead. However, the Reds struck back with another unconverted try so as the game headed into its final stages it was YCAC holding on to a slim four point lead. Tensions were definitely running high at this point and with YCAC down to 14 men after halfback “Wee” Willie Lapthorn was sin-binned for a stomp on a Reds player who was holding the ball in a ruck it was anyone’s game.

Luckily for YCAC it ended up being ours. The crucial moment came about five minutes from time when flanker Callum “The Kid” Snowball gathered a bouncing ball from a mid-field bomb, found miles of space ahead of him and raced 50 meters to score the match-winning try. The fact that Callum was wearing a jersey from the 2007/08 season did mean that he received a slightly mixed reception from the crowd as he ran back after the try though – I am sure I heard our President call out: “Nice try Snowball, pity about the jersey!” Regardless, Noah was again able to convert and YCAC had the security of going into the final minutes of the game with an 11 point lead. The Reds did actually manage a consolation score in the last play of the game (through one of the borrowed Microsoft players) but the day belonged to YCAC.

The home team capped off a perfect afternoon when Man of the Match Yoshio “Nike” Naiki utterly destroyed his opposite number in the MVP drink-off. It was also interesting to find out during the aftermatch that the Reds are Go “Big Daddy Shadow” Ito’s main team these days. The fact that they weren’t able to get him out for this match actually heartened me – it is not just YCAC who find it difficult to get the Shadow out onto the rugby pitch these days. One presumes that as a member of YCAC’s growing legion of new fathers that Go was busy with diaper duty on this occasion …


YCAC 1st Team
Sometimes a single incident occurs on a rugby field that is so momentous that all other events of the day fade into insignificance. On Sunday, such a momentous event occurred and has inspired your reporter to record the occasion in poetry.

An Ode to a Prop: “No Bagel for Nike”
Truly a gentle and peaceful man is Naiki Yoshio
So relaxed his nickname should be “Japanese Cuzzy Bro”
Each weekend he loves to play with his chums
And lend his sizeable bulk to rucks, mauls, and scrums
In this idyllic life only one thing is awry
Despite his endeavours Nike just cannot score a try
Each night dreams of bagels haunt him in his sleep
The idea of another tryless season enough to make him weep
But against the Sharks of Microsoft he took a quick tap
And slammed the ball over the line with an audible slap
With this effort YCAC’s comeback did begin
And Nike inspired his team to a memorable win
Like the Roman goddess from whom he inherited his name
This victory ensured Nike’s everlasting fame
Long will the story be told – such a crowd pleaser
No doughnut for Nike: just one for Freezer!

Hunter Hemingway


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