30 May – YCAC mixed 34 All France 5

<strong>Tries : James Robertson (2), Rob Willis, Al Ferris, Kuri, Kuri’s son. Cons : James Robertson & Rob Willis </strong>

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As the song goes, the French like nothing better than to strut their stuff in Paris in the Spring-time. And as tradition goes, YCAC like nothing better than to stuff the strutting French: any time, any place, anywhere. And so an intrepid band of YCAC adventurers undertook to boldly go where no YCAC team had gone before: yes, horror of horrors, an away match in May with the temparature in the mid-30s. Even the prehistoric Doddy is hard-pressed to remember a non-Kobe or non-tour away match. But then again, the prehistoric Doddy is hard-pressed to remember anything these days….including the time and place to meet, so the Magnificent 14 set off for the wilds of Omiya. Everything went according to plan and we arrived at the Omiya Kenpo Ground 45 minutes before kick-off. But, of course, this being an away match it was being organised by the French. And we all know the French couldn’t organise a shitting competition with a pair of legless poodles and a bucket of vindaloo. So we ended up with 2 teams, three referees and no pitch. Fortunately, the French have recruited a couple of Anglo-Saxons who took a semblance of control and after an extensive training session we kicked off two and a half hours late.
The game itself was a wonderful thing. Within a couple of minutes the powerful YCAC pack took control. The two greatest Frenchmen of all time were born in Corsica. One was short and bold and died a pauper’s death without having had a shag for 3 years (that’s Napolean). The other great Frenchman is strong and hairy and dominates the Front Row from tight head prop: YCAC’s very own Philippe Donnet who has been accorded honoury “non-French” status for performing so heroically in Saturday’s massacre of his countrymen. And so it was that the YCAC pack took control : in the tight and in the line-out where the Anglo-Russian linguistic fraudster jumped like a salmon to secure a plentiful stream of good ball. And around the fringes and in the loose where Masa, Dai and Al had superb ball-winning performances. And the backs took advantage with gay abandon. By that I mean they abandoned the gays who were marking them and cut the French defence to ribbons: as the Germans had done to the Maginot Line 90 years before (well, you have got to have at least one reference to a war in an All France match report, haven’t you?). Lindsey Arrand had literally just stepped off his plane from the UK to direct operations from scrum-half and James Robertson, Rob Willis and Kuri made superb in-roads into the French defence. A sparkling break by James Robertson saw a try-scoring pass to Kuri followed swiftly by further tries from Kuri’s Son and another by James himself. Al Ferris and Rob Willis both scored tries in their final games for YCAC before heading off for their homelands (although I am sure both will be back to fight another day in the YCAC colours). And finally,the try that broke the Frenchmen’s hearts; a splendid “disco rugby” effort as the Domineering YCAC Pack won a 5 metre scrum on our own line and the Dazzling YCAC Backs flung the ball around the in-goal area before creating a gap for James Robertson to burst through and run the whole length of the pitch to score.
A wondrous effort. Miraculous but not as miraculous as the fact that the pitch had grass, the showers were hot and plentiful and 50 cans of cold beer were delivered to the pitch for the YCAC boys on the final whistle. Maybe away matches are not so bad after all. Special Praise to Scott Sizemore for playing on his wife’s birthday ; just goes to show you wimpy bachelor boys who miss rugby games to keep your girlfriends happy. Scottie is the real man you should all aspire to be.

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