7 Nov – YCAC Gents XV 26, All Jinja 40 & YCAC First XV 31, Tokyo Gaijin 17

Tries: Marcus Waughby (2), Go Ito, James Robertson
Conversions: Niall (3), Ben (1)
Penalties: Niall (1)

In the same way that 1st October brings boots/mini skirts to Tokyo, a warm, sunny autumn day brought hoards of rugby players to Yamate. On Sunday, a record number of 28 players turned up to play for YCAC Gents against All Jinja. In typical fashion, the YCAC forwards dominated up front, whilst the backs were confronted by a pacy All Jinja backline who spun the ball wide at every conceiveable opportunity. Traditionally, YCAC Gents is an aging team and Alzheimers can be the only conceiveable reason why the backs forget the same basic lesson week after week: don’t kick the ball to Japanese opposition because they will run it back and score a try. Same mistake, same result and within minutes All Jinja had scored 2 tries under the posts. The wiser heads in the forwards then took control and kept the ball tight. From a driving maul, Morgan “Bean Pole” Parker stretched from seemingly outside the 22 to plant the ball on the try line for YCAC’s first score. From wide out on the touch line, Fraser Jamieson converted and YCAC were back in the game. Continued forward dominance lead to huge gaps opening up in the All Jinja defence and great interplay between forwards and backs resulted in a scintilating run and score from Jason “Go Forest” Dunn. But All Jinja stuck to their game plan and scored again to take a half-time lead.
The half-time interval resembled an American football squad changing from offence to defence as YCAC made ten substitutions. From the kick-off, tremendous driving play from the forwards gave hope of a come-back. YCAC were dominating scrum, line out, ruck and maul, but All Jinja exploited turn-over ball to score two more break-away tries following kicks ahead from their own 22. Ben Duncan entered the fray with 20 minutes to go and scored an excellent centre’s try on his debut. And with 5 minutes to go, Doddy arrived late at a maul 5 metres out, using all his weight and experience to dive over in the corner. Fraser Jamieson kicked the conversion from wide on the touch line and suddenly it was a 7 point game with a minute to play. The last minute seemed to last an enternity as neither side kicked for touch: YCAC out of necessity and All Jinja through plain stupidity. But eventually, the old mens’ lungs could take it no more and yet another break-out from All Jinja’s 22 saw them kick ahead and score under the posts to seal the 26-40 defeat.
Tries: Morgan Parker, Jason Dunn, Ben Duncan and Mike Galbraith
Cons: Fraser Jamieson (3)

In near perfect conditions on Sunday the Firsts welcomed back Tokyo Gaijin after the bruising midweek encounter in the 10’s tournament. Once again Ben “Flipflop” Patu’s late arrival proved that the time difference between Samoa and Japan still hasn’t been corrected…at least we now know that it’s Ben’s watch that isn’t correct and not Maui’s, who was out due to an unfortunate leg injury sustained at a university line-dancing performance on Wednesday. Things started well for the Firsts and after 5 minutes Go Ito made a 75 metre break on the end of some good hands from the backs, slipped 2 tackles, side stepped the full back and was in under the posts for the opening try, which was duly converted by resident mad doctor/fly half Niall.
Go had made it look easy but basic errors made by YCAC led to Gaijin levelling the scores in the 20th minute with an opportunistic try, which was also converted. Seven points each and it was looking as though it was going to be the first hard day in the office for YCAC this season. YCAC wasnªft going to step down though and as Gaijin made their next attack there was a superb covering tackle made by an as yet unidentified YCAC player that sent the Gaijin fullback’s shoulder a taxi ride away from where it should have been . The mad doctor preceded to head to the sideline to make the poor boy suffer some more and whilst the Gaijin player was being taught another lesson in pain, Flipflop Patu, who had by then decided he would make an appearance, slotted into 10 looking to weave some magic.
Soon after Rob G-Unit had enough blood running from a head wound for those on the sidelines to think that Beaujolais Nouveau had arrived early this year . That meant that the mad doctor’s services were called upon again and with a Gaijin player also sporting a cut head the field was turning into the waiting room of the Niall Jefferson clinic. G-Unit’s blood bin saw Marcus Waughby arrive on the field and he was soon on the end of a solid rolling maul in his Firsts debut to touch down for a try, which Ben converted. That was the first of two tries that Marcus scored on debut for the Firsts late in the first half and both were forward’s classics. Hopefully Marcus will now understand that the ball is much better in his hands than on the end of his boot, as his punt in the last minute of the first half left a lot to be desired. 21 – 7 at half time.
A slap of vaseline, two Marcus Waughby scores and a shocking kick later, and the G-Unit was sent back into the line of fire in the second half with a head bandage and resembling a recuperating casualty from the First World War. Niall also returned to the pitch for the 2nd half and Ben moved to half back following Masa’s good service there in the first. The YCAC forwards continued to dominate the set plays in the second and the backs changed their game plan to overcome the suffocating Gaijin defence by grubber kicking the ball behind the opposition backline. This ultimately caused some uncertainty in the defensive lines and a semi break by the Doc let Bjorn Robertson collect the ball and accelerate around the full back to score his obligatory try, which the doc converted from the touchline after performing quick double bypass surgery on a spectator. The doctor also slotted a penalty from out in front to strengthen the lead late in the second half. Gaijin never took the lead in the latter half but came close racking up 10 points.
In the end a tough win and one that the team needed before the big games coming up if we are to keep the unbeaten record. We had solid defence in the centers with Kieron and Bic Mac and the side was well led by Jameo who barked orders and gesticulated magnificently throughout the game to make sure the boys came out on top. Yuusuke once again filled his role at prop quietly but extremely competently and was awarded man of the match.

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