30 Jan – YCAC Gents XV 14, Tokyo Crusaders 12 & YCAC First XV 32, Tokyo Crusaders 10

Tries: Jimmy Robertson(2), Dan Clark, Stairs, Rikki Nakamura, Rob Jee. Con: Niall Jefferson (1)

In a passionate and hard-fought contest, the YCAC Gents defeated Crusaders by the narrowest of margins. Some would say narrower than a coat of paint on a goal post, whilst those in the green shirts of Crusaders would claim that they were robbed and that Fraser Jamieson should be receiving his deportation papers any day now. Normally, Fraser is nicking pints when no one is looking. On Sunday, Fraser nicked the points when everyone was looking.
The day had got off to a disruptive start for the YCAC Gents, when Lindsey “I’m Not Paranoid: It’s Just That You Lot Hate Me” Arrand, excelled himself with the mother of pre-match moans by declaring himself unavailable for the rest of his life. The Crusaders exploited the hasty reorganisation in the YCAC centres, and scored two scintillating tries (one converted). As the passions rose, the game became more scrappy with both sides killing the ball at ruck and maul. Ben Kiggell decided that killing the ball was not enough and prepared to kill himself: Ben’s suicide mission being to instigate fistycuffs with the Crusaders’ Asian Games boxing gold medallist. The last man to take on this very same Crusader was Terry Dixon and his battered, pummelled and pock-marked face tells the story to this very day. Fortunately for Terry, “the ladies” love mothering little chaps with deformed features and he has not slept alone since.
In spite of the early set backs, YCAC began to dominate in the scrum where Simon TrossYoule and Scott Sizemore were magnificent. Is this the first time that YCAC Gents has selected a loose/tight head combo with an aggregate age of over 100 years? In the line out, Ben Kiggell (with the help of 100 years of lifting experience) was supreme and won all his own ball. Towards the end of the first half, the dominant YCAC pack drove Crusaders back at a 5 metre scrum to enable the excellent Paddy Maloney to pick up and score from number 8.
The second half was all YCAC, but the Crusaders’ defence was superb. Paddy claimed a second try, but the unsighted referee ruled it out. With time elapsing, YCAC Gents were facing a 5-12 deficit and were beginning to run out of ideas. Fortunately, YCAC Gents have a cool calculating Kiwi brain to lead them in times of crisis: Jason Dunn calling upon Fraser to boot YCAC back into the lead from three of the huge number of penalties that were being conceded by Crusaders in desperate defence. Two of the penalties went straight through the middle of the posts, but the third looked to have about as much chance of finding its target as a US weapons inspector looking for WMD. Was it that the touch judges were too busy tying their guide dogs to the goal posts? Or were the pair of midgets unsighted by the slightly longer grass behind the goal? Whatever it was, the Crusaders have learnt to their cost not to employ two visually impaired dwarfs as touch-judges as both inexplicably raised their flags as Fraser’s penalty torpedoed high and wide in the direction of Yokohama Bay.
The dodgy penalty put YCAC in the lead and they did not look like surrendering it until the very last minute of the game when the Crusaders scrum half dived over the line only to be turned in mid-air by a fantastic try-saving tackle from flanker Ben Edelshain. Although the Crusaders’ scrum half twisted, turned and ripped himself free from the tackler to ground the ball, the only decision for the referee was whether it was “held up” or “not releasing” and in that instant the game was over. The “never say die, come from behind” attitude of the YCAC Gents was a performance to be proud of, but the Crusaders have every right to feel robbed by a dodgy penalty kick decision which gave YCAC the winning margin.
Try: Paddy Maloney. Pens: Fraser Jamieson (3)

The Firsts made it a clean sweep against the Crusaders on the weekend with our second win of the season on a beautiful Sunday up on the hill. The Crusaders scored early points in the first half through a penalty but even though the half was a frustrating one the hard working YCAC forwards gave us the points we needed. Dan Clark backed up his first try of the season last week with another when he scooted through a massive hole in the Gaijin defence to score and Stairs didnât require a hole when he went straight over the top of the Cru defence to score his try off quick ruck ball. Ben couldnât convert the first half tries and we went into the second half with a small lead, 10 ªE3.
Our old friend and YCAC old boy Ryota wasnât going to show us any bias in the reffing and despite the team supporting Ryotaâs arm up in the penalty position for most of the match we did manage to get it to signal a few more tries in the second half. Rob Jee put his man-of-the-match award beyond doubt when he went one step further than last week by not only tackling a player and stripping him of the ball, but also then crossing the line for a fantastic try. Jim Robertson was looking a bit lighter on his feet after his bout of food poisoning from a dodgy curry earlier in the week and also scored a great try in the half when he chipped forward over the last line of defence and regathered to score (it would have been much better try if he had passed it to his brother in the clear on the outsideªEut not bitter at all). Jimmy also scored a try on the other side of the field in the second half, where Rikki also touched down after he squeezed through the Gaijin defence. While Stairs was blowing his nose and calling to be stretched off with a minor cold mid way through the half Nike blew his motor, which meant YCAC old boy Simon Tross-Youle, who had just played for the Gents, was able to once again have a run with the YCAC Firsts. The Cru scored one try in the second half but generally had little success opening up our defence through the game. Final Score YCAC 32 ªEGaijin 10

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