7 Feb 2009 – YCAC vs Tokyo Crusaders

YCAC 55 – Tokyo Crusaders 12 (HT: 22-0)
Tries:
Ryan Rogers (3), Grant Thompson, Willie Lapthorn, Mike Griffin, Dougal Robertson, Ben Duncan, Will Whetstone
Cons: Ben Duncan (5)

In recent history the fixtures between YCAC and the Tokyo Crusaders have been the biggest matches of the season for each club. However, the build-up for this particular game was considerably more low-key than normal with both teams struggling somewhat for numbers in the week before the match. The Crusaders have apparently not been playing a lot of rugby recently and their playing squad seems to have shrunk as a result. In contrast, YCAC have already had eight matches so far this year but the wear and tear of all this game-time was starting to show through some niggling injuries – particularly an over-abundance of dodgy knees. However, in the end the Crusaders requested that the Gents fixture be cancelled and numbers became a non-issue.

It was sensibly agreed by both clubs that with the Gents match cancelled the 1st XV match should take the Gents (earlier) kick-off slot so as to allow for more drinking time in the bar afterwards. The only problem with this was that no-one thought to inform the referee appointed for the 1st XV match of the change of time and this oversight was only uncovered five minutes before kick-off! With Gents referee Steve “The Vicar” Lewis taking full advantage of his day off by piling into the beers as soon as he arrived at YCAC it was clear that he was in no fit state to step into the breach so both teams were forced to wait until the appointed referee arrived.

When the match did finally kick off – with the referee looking resplendent in his all-pink uniform – it quickly became clear that YCAC were the stronger of the two teams on the pitch. The YCAC pack dominated both the scrums and the line-outs and the backline obviously took full advantage of the good-quality ball they were getting because every single starting member of the backs managed to bag a try! All of the backs played very well but of particular note were wing Ryan “Rising Sun” Rogers (who managed a hat-trick), midfielder Mike “Griffo” Griffin (excellent performance after a few weeks off) and fullback Willie “Mini Me” Lapthorn (great individual try and deserved Man of the Match award).

Joe

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