8 Mar 2009 – YCAC 1sts vs Nihon Unisys | YCAC Gents vs Zenkai Beers

YCAC 1sts 78 – Nihon Unisys 12 (HT 38-5)
Tristan Fahy, Grant Thompson, Kenji Yoshioka, Rich Watkins, Willie Lapthorn, Will Whetstone (3), Joe Fisher (2), Dougal Robertson, Luke Raimo (2)
Cons: Rich Watkins (5), Tristan Fahy (4)

YCAC Gents 41 – Zenkai Beers 27 (HT 24-10)
Chris Mandel, Epps, Arnaud (3), David Dicks (2)
Cons: Fraser (3)

YCAC 1sts
A “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”. Those are the words that Sir Winston Churchill famously used to describe the actions of Russia in 1939. It could equally be used to describe the performances of the YCAC rugby team 80 years later where on a cold spring afternoon, for no particular reason at all, the YCAC 1st XV decided to pull out their best performance of the season to absolutely hammer Nihon Unisys.

How did this happen? Listening to the pre-match banter it was obvious that there had been no en masse swearing off the pleasures of wine, women and song as the normal collection of misdeeds were confessed between stretches. Equally, Nihon Unisys are not a weak side by any means – last year we only beat them 29-22. Finally, this was no YCAC “All Star” team as there were several regular 1st XV members away for this weekend.

However, right from the kick-off everything just clicked and on a day when no-one had a bad game it was actually some of the players standing in for the regulars who shone the brightest …

Rich “Singapore” Watkins: Standing in for fly-half Ben “Angry Fox” Duncan – otherwise engaged as a guest speaker at a JRFU Referee’s Constructive Criticism workshop – Rich ran the backline brilliantly. Also, despite wearing a pair of aqua-coloured football boots which looked like they had come straight out of an adidas “Impossible is Nothing” ad, Rich also kicked very well (both for touch and for points) all day.

Rafi “Ghengis” Khan: Standing in for hooker Dean “Fish” Stallard – busy uploading new pictures onto his iPhone – Rafi’s line-out throwing was extremely accurate on a windy day.

“Big” Luke Raimo: Standing in for loosehead prop Erich “Freezer” Friess – waiting in Ex bar to be joined by “companion” Yasushi “Sushi” Fujii, who was all excited after his competition with The King (see match report below) – Luke had a very good game in both the tight and the loose. He also managed to score two tries, which is actually two more than Erich has managed for the past couple of seasons. (Can anyone smell bagel?)

In addition to these mightly performances, Will “Crowbar” Whetstone deserves a mention for continuing his amazing try-scoring run with another hat-trick. With his deceptive strength and turn of pace, Crowbar has now scored an almost unbelievable 34 tries this season. Of course, the fact that he simply refuses to pass the ball when he is within 40 meters of the opposition line does explain things somewhat. Hence the nickname – this is the tool you need to get the ball from under his arm!


YCAC Gents
In the battle for supremacy amongst the Western Clubs in Tokyo, the intelligent leadership of the YCAC stalwarts is as always promoted as the reason why we consistently find ourselves at the top of the pile above Crusaders, Tokyo Gaijin and All France. So how can we explain what happened on Sunday? With YCAC Gents fielding an Australian international lock, Captain Fraser “Pea Brain” Jamieson decides that Mike “The Midget” King should be our line out jumper. With Zenkai Beers fielding a 35 stone tight head prop (I kid you not!), YCAC’s usual supply of ball was as infrequent as a Scotsman’s round of drinks and so the Beers had the better of the initial exchanges.

The Beers clearly take their name seriously and are the fattest of opposition that we play all season. As a result, a couple of our speedier backs gained good ground before a speculative pass somehow stuck to the out-stretched fingers of bachelor Chris Mander (raising eyebrows as to exactly what he was doing for so long in the WC before the match and whether he had actually had time to wash his hands before kick-off).

On turning up at YCAC 2 years ago, Epps announced that he was a winger/centre, but it has only taken a couple of seasons for us to recognise his true vocation as a loose head prop. For those wingers of yester-year, can you imagine what it must have felt like for Epps to play his second game at prop against a 35 stone monster. Being the man that he is, not only did he hold his own in the scrum but he also emerged from close quarters to power over the line for a try to give us the lead. Having put his girlfriend “in the Club”, Arnaud demonstrated that he is as quick off the mark on the pitch as in the bedroom by scoring two pacey tries before half-time. Unusually, YCAC owed its 24-10 half-time lead to the dominance of the Backs rather than our traditionally strong forward pack.

The second half started well for YCAC when Fraser broke through and raced for the line with no-one to beat. Unfortunately, he dropped the ball whilst completed unchallenged and will now be required to join Chris for mandatory pre-match WC sessions.

The second half was a see-saw affair and 3 tries by the Beers put them in contention. But with Arnaud racing over for his hat-trick and the elegant 6 foot 8 inch Dixie showing his class to score two late tries, YCAC won a vastly entertaining match 41-27. It was a delight to the spectators’ eyes to see some of our unfitter thirty-somethings desperately trying to run short penalties at the end, thereby incurring the displeasure of Captain Cautious Jamieson who decided to put victory first and belt the ball into touch for the last five minutes.

Who could have believed that a scintillating match could be outdone by the excitement of the Man of the Match Awards when our two Mighty Midgets (Mike King and Sushi) went head to head for a Drink-Off followed by a Measure-Off followed by a Dick-Off. Whilst everyone agreed that Sushi was the winner in the Drink-Off and Mike was the winner in the Measure-Off, only those present will know who won in the decider which really counts: the Dick-Off!



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