6 Apr 2008 – YCAC 7’s

YCAC 7’s – Champions
Match Report – Joe Fisher
Photographer – Kyoko Obayashi

Round of 16 Match: YCAC 57 Takushoku University 0
Tries: Isimeli Daveta (4), Ryan Rogers, Nathan Ashley, Dougal Robertson, Sione Kepu, David Kelaher
Conversions: Waisale Serevi (4), Dougal Robertson, David Kelaher

Traditionally the opening match of the YCAC 7 is always the toughest one for the host club as it inevitably takes some time for our guest players to gel with our regulars. This year however, YCAC had no problems overpowering Takushoku University, winners of the East Japan University Sevens last year who were making their first appearance at the YCAC 7s. In a convincing victory it was great to see YCAC stalwart Dougal The White Serevi Robertson get on the scoreboard with a try and a conversion. The only real problem for YCAC in this match was injuries – Tekori TK Luteru was ruled out of the tournament prior to kick off with a calf injury, Kilive Naloli sustained an ankle injury which finished his day and YCAC regular Matt mess wit dis and get yo $hit split Creagh (self-titled nickname) lasted only a few seconds on the field before dislocating his shoulder. Combined with withdrawals during the week of YCAC regulars Maui Apocolypto Magele (work commitments) and Steve Big Cuzzy Bro Gray (injury) our squad was starting to look very thin indeed. Luckily, former YCAC regular Ian Aussie Miller and Hino Motors professionals Jonetani Ratu and Joseph Narruhu were on hand to fill the vacancies.

Cup Quarter-Final: YCAC 34 Toyota Verblitz 7
Tries: Isimeli Daveta, Jonetani Ratu (2), Waisale Serevi (2), Sione Kepu
Conversions: Waisale Serevi (2)

Last year YCAC beat Toyota in the Plate Final to win our first trophy at the tournament we host. Perhaps spurred on by this Toyota looked to have assembled a very strong side for this years tournament with three members of the full Japan squad in their line-up. However, due to excellent handling and support play from the YCAC side Toyota were simply never allowed a chance to get into the game. Waisale Little General Serevi lived up to his nickname and was outstanding in controlling proceedings throughout the match, giving an excellent demonstration of the meaning behind the rugby cliché that “You cant win the game without the ball”.

Cup Semi-Final: YCAC 10 Coca Cola West 7
Tries: Nathan Ashley, Isimeli Daveta

As Sione The Kepunator Kepu said after the tournament, this game was the real final. Coca Cola West were beaten Cup finalists last year and they made their aims for this years tournament clear in the tournament brochure, saying “we plan to play hard and win the championship this year.” They very nearly achieved this, for if they had got past YCAC in this match they would surely have swept aside Tokai University in the final. In the end it was only the bounce of the ball and the outstanding commitment from the YCAC side which knocked Coca Cola out. YCAC were down 5 – 7 with only a couple of minutes to play when a bit of Serevi magic gave Isimeli Sam Daveta the space he needed to cross for a try to put the home side ahead. Coca Cola did not lie down though and almost stole a win through a chip-and-chase in the dying seconds of the game. Luckily for YCAC, Jonetani Jone Ratu put in a huge chase and just managed to get ahead of the Coca Cola attacker to end the game by knocking the ball out behind the dead ball line.

Cup Final: YCAC 57 Tokai University 14
Tries: Isimeli Daveta (3),Jonetani Ratu (3), Ryan Rogers, Nathan Ashley, Sione Kepu
Conversions: Waisale Serevi (5), Dougal Robertson

Tokai University were a good side, making their way to the final with victories over Tamariva (36-0), Teikyo University (31-5), and Top League side Yokogawa (24-19). In Josh Mau, a curly-haired pocket battleship, they also had one of the outstanding players of the tournament. However, on this day they were no match for the team of all-stars YCAC had put together. Sam Daveta capped a fine tournament with a hat-trick, meaning that he had an amazing return for the day of nine tries from four matches. Only 20 years old, coming to this tournament was Daveta’s first ever trip overseas and he was incredibly shy off the field. He was anything but shy on the field though and the footwork and pace he possesses suggests that he has the goods to reach the highest level of the game. Six other YCAC players managed to get on the scoreboard in one way or another in the final (including Dougal Robertson), but upon hearing the bell that signaled full time there was no happier man in Yamate than Simon ‘El Presidente’ Ryan. Rhino has been at the club for the best part of 20 years and has organized countless YCAC tournaments and events over that time. To get everything together for this tournament alone had taken him a whole year of effort and his sense of relief was there for all to see when he finally got hold of the one trophy which has always eluded the club. His words to the press upon being awarded the cup summed it up perfectly – “After 50 years we’ve got the bastard!”

2008 YCAC 7s TEAM
Waisale Serevi (c)
Nathan Ashley
James Maher
Dougal Robertson
David Kelaher
Kilive Naloli
Matt Creagh
Sione Kepu
Isimeli Daveta
Ryan Rogers
Ian Miller
Jonetani Ratu
Joseph Narruhu
Simon Ryan (Coach)
Joe Fisher (Manager)

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