7 June 2009 YCAC vs Nichidou Club

Match report by Joe Fisher

YCAC 60  Nichidou Club 24 (HT 22-3)
Tries: Maui Magele (3), Brimman Frazer (2), Joe Fisher (2), Ben Patu, Grant Thompson, Brendon Timmins
Conversions: Fraser Jamieson, Ben Patu, Grant Thompson (2), Maui Magele

With a blue sky above and a hot sun beating down on the artificial grass of the club’s home away from home (Hodogaya), YCAC finished off the pool section of their Kanagawa League campaign in the best possible fashion with an emphatic victory over the previously unbeaten Nichidou Club.
 
YCAC started well but the first decisive moment of the match came through an unfortunate head clash between the Nichdou openside flanker and YCAC fly-half “Big” Ben Patu. After two years out of the game recovering from a knee injury, Patu deserves some luck from the rugby gods on the injury front and this time he got it – although he walked away with a decent egg on his forehead he fared much better than the Nichidou player who split his eyebrow open and played no further part in the game. 
 
Actually, the only real concern for Patu is whether his mind will recover quickly enough from the head knock to allow him to continue his fledgling media career as the comments man for J Sports 1 for Samoa’s games in the U-20 World Cup. Funnily enough, YCAC always knew Patu had a future in the media, it’s just that we thought it would be as a Michael Jackson (pre-op version) look-alike rather than as a talking head …
 
When play restarted the YCAC forward pack made a collective decision that they could not to be outdone in the toughness stakes by a fly-half and immediately lifted their game several notches, operating well as a unit both at the set pieces and around the park. As a result of this the gaps started appearing and the YCAC backline took full advantage, especially inside center Maui “Apocalypto” Magele who has always been quick to spot a gap – as two kids (and a lovely wife) by his early 20’s clearly indicates. 
 
With the team clicking and the points flowing YCAC went into the half-time break with a healthy lead. However, with only one game for the club in the past eight weeks the idea was to try and combat a lack of match fitness by sharing the game-time around as evenly as possible so four changes were made during the break and another couple of changes were made shortly after.
 
One who was no doubt feeling it in the legs more than most was lock Brendon “Cheese” Timmins who was making his comeback to the playing fields after seven years of retirement. In a previous life, Timmins had a long career at lock for Otago and the Highlanders in (what was then) the Super 12 and is over in Japan as a trainer for the Mitsubishi Dynabores. All of the old skills are clearly still there but seven years is a long time between drinks and after crashing over for a try early in the second half Cheese graciously decided it was time to “give someone else a go”!
 
In fact, the only player who seemed to be thriving in this sapping heat was Dean “Silk” Stallard. Despite a demanding social life, Dean always somehow still finds plenty of energy for rugby and 27 degrees was no problem at all for him – it just reminded him of mid-winter games back home in Townsville.
 
As the score sheet shows, YCAC kept racking up the points in the second half. To give the Nichidou their due though, they never stopped trying and were rewarded with three tries of their own. The end result was never in doubt though and Brimman “Brutus” Frazer ensured the match finished on a high note for YCAC by crashing over for the final try of the game.
 
Onwards and upwards to the semi-finals next Sunday …

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