4 Nov 2007 – YCAC Gents vs All France | YCAC 1sts vs Tokyo Gaijin

YCAC Gents 38, All France 12  (HT 26-12), YCAC 1sts 39, Tokyo Gaijin 3 (HT 22-3) 

Gents Match Report – Steve Lewis, 1sts Match Report – Joe Fisher

YCAC Gents
YCAC 38 All France 12 (HT 26-12)
Tries : Maui (2), Epps (2), Arnaud, Matt Dimond
Cons: Matt Dimond (3), Tim Miller

Never trust the French! They said that the Nazis would never march on Paris, that they would win the Rugby World Cup and that nouvelle cuisine was just what you wanted for dinner. Dougal’s fiancée has even promised him a daily BJ in return for marrying her next September. But they are all empty promises. Similarly, the All France team promised to bring a strong side to test the YCAC Gents. But this was no test at all.

The pre-match build-up reached a crescendo when the YCAC equivalent of Brad Pitt (Mike “Masivo” King) gave us a passionate rendition of his speech from his up-coming theatrical performance. Whilst impressive, the truth is that Masivo gets killed off within 10 minutes of the start of the Play. The same applied to All France. Within 10 minutes of kick-off, YCAC had sown up the match with two outstanding tries from the much-missed Maui who had been absent all season due to work commitments. If Mike King has a career on the stage, what price on Maui playing the lead in the Mel Gibson sequel “Apocalypto II”?

Samoa and New Zealand may have disappointed at the Rugby World Cup, but both countries were in outstanding form as Samoan Maui’s two tries were consolidated by two dynamic efforts from Kiwi Epps, notwithstanding that he was playing out of position at flanker. As always, an Englishman put the icing on the cake with Matt Dimond popping over three out of four conversions. Clearly, important lessons have been learned from the Rugby World Cup and in the very first move of the match an English referee adjudged a French pass to be forward thereby avoiding a torrent of Kiwi whinging.

At half time, All France had a team cuddle and started the second half in perky fashion scoring two tries within the opening 5 minutes. At last, it seemed that the Gents would be tested. But the game was put beyond doubt by a classic piece of finishing by our own Frenchman, Arnaud. Not only does the word “mature” describe Arnaud’s style of play, but also the way he likes the finer things in life (his wine, his cheese, his women). Following the acting theme of this match report, perhaps Arnaud’s new nickname should be “Victor” in honour of the late and great big screen actor Victor Mature.

With the game won, the YCAC Gents pushed for a last score and crossed the line with a couple of minutes to go. Unfortunately, a try under the posts had to be disallowed as an anonymous plonker from the First Team kicked a second ball onto the pitch in close proximity to the match ball leaving the referee no option but to disallow the try. The consequence is that Caviar Ken’s try per game streak has come to an impromptu end. The least that the First Team plonker can do is buy Caviar Ken a pint (of Champagne, of course!). Fortunately, Matt Dimond scored from the resulting 5-metre scrum and Tim Miller popped over the conversion for an emphatic 38-12 victory.

For all Thespians wishing to purchase tickets to the theatrical event of the year, Mike King is selling special discount tickets for those who wish to attend just the first 10 minutes of his new play.

For Kiwis who are wondering when the Rugby World Cup jibes are going to stop, the answer is FOUR MORE YEARS BOYS … FOUR MORE YEARS …

The Vicar

Firsts
YCAC 39 Tokyo Gaijin 3 (HT 22-3)
Tries : Dougal Robertson (4), Yo, Matt Creagh (2)
Cons : Matt Creagh (2)

On most autumn and winter weekends the YCAC Firsts play a fairly modern brand of rugby. The forwards concentrate on winning the ball and the backs focus on trying to get said ball over the line. However, five times each season – twice against the Tokyo Gaijin, twice against the Tokyo Crusaders, once against the KRAC – the Firsts match stretches deep into rugby’s past. It goes further back than 1900, when YCAC kicked off rugby in Japan with a match against Keio University. It even goes back further than the mid-1800’s games described by Thomas Hughes in Tom Brown’s School Days. Five times a year, the Firsts fixtures revert to the kind of medieval village skirmishes that historians, such as those who put together the website Rugby Football History (http://www.rugbyfootballhistory.com/), now claim to be the earliest forms of the game. It is noted on this website that “[m]edieval chroniclers documented games of football between rival villages who would do anything in their power to kick, carry and blast a ball past their opponents.” It is also noted that “[a]uthorities would later attempt to outlaw such dangerous and unproductive pastimes.” Not very successfully, it would turn out …

Given that both sides indulged in numerous pre-match ‘motivational’ emails in the week leading up to the game, it is no wonder that the whole thing started with a bang. Unfortunately for the Tokyo Gaijin, it was Sir Dougal ‘the Frugal’ Robertson who delivered the first blow, sneaking down the blindside for a well-thought out opening score. (The term well-thought out is used because he told the writer 10 minutes before the start of the match that the Tokyo Gaijin never watch him on the blind so he was going to have a crack there early!) This early try opened the first-half floodgates, with tries following in quick succession to Yo ‘the Mysterious’ and a second to Robertson, this time in the opposite corner thanks to a fantastic flick pass from Sias ‘the Stout’ Potgieter. A third try to Robertson, coming from the YCAC scrum pushing the Gaijin back over their own line, sealed an impressive first half for the YCAC forces.

The opening period of the second half produced a stalemate between the two sides which was only broken with a brilliant chip over the top from Lord Ben Duncan ‘the Wise’ which was well-finished off by Count Matthew Creagh of Queensland. This score seemed to well and truly break the Gaijin’s spirit, and the match was finished with a fourth try for man-of-the-match Robertson and a second to Creagh.

In reflection, it is fair to say that the Gaijin never really recovered from YCAC’s opening score and were never able to impose themselves on the match in the way they wanted. In a game where tempers ran high for the duration, the YCAC forces managed to keep their minds on the task at hand far better than their opponents, largely thanks to the calm leadership of the skipper, Sir Terry ‘the Hairy Fairy’ Dixon. In technical matters, it was pleasing to see that after a couple of weeks of bedding in, the new line-out introduced by Chancellor Steve ‘Hang-time’ Marcon started working well, partly due to excellent throwing-in from YCAC debutant, Archbishop Alex Curran. The scrums were very good again and kick-off reception is getting better also. This means the backs are getting better quality ball and looking dangerous with it. All this bodes well for the rest of the season, particularly the upcoming fixture against the Crusaders. The task ahead now is clearly to keep focused on sustaining that level of performance week-in and week-out.

Joe Fisher

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