29 Mar 2008 – YCAC vs Keio

YCAC 0, Keio 83 (HT 0-43)
Match Report – Joe Fisher

To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.

OSCAR WILDE

Keio University is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. As YCAC are Keio’s oldest opponents – in 1900 YCAC and Keio played the first recorded game of rugby in Japan – they invited to their ground to play a match in celebration of their anniversary. It was our understanding that we would be playing a Keio Over-30 Old Boys side. As it actually turned out we played an All Star side made up of recent graduates (including four Japan representatives) and current members of the university that reached the finals of the National Championship this season.

Prior to kick-off starting the Keio side gave a rousing rendition of their university song. As there were no Aussies in our side (two were named to play but neither showed up) YCAC replied with a passionate performance of ‘Advance Australia Fair’. Then both teams lined up in front of the crowd and went through a ‘meet and greet’ with the Governor of Kanagawa. Just how far out of league we were was illustrated when the Keio captain named the teams that most of his players are currently playing for when he introduced them to the Governor – “Suntory”, “Suntory”, “Kyushu Denryoku”, “Kubota”, “Toshiba”, and so on.

During the match itself we tried our best but Keio were simply too good in every department. This was still an enjoyable match to play in though. Keio’s (artificial) field was great and the game was very well controlled by Japan’s number one referee.

After the match there was a function and it was good to see both teams mixing together. Thanks very much to Simon ‘Supreme Splinter’ Litster and Shingo Mishima for doing much of the organizing in getting this fixture together.

Joe Fisher

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