8 Nov 2009 – YCAC Gents vs Kawagoe Fighter | YCAC 1sts vs Kamariya Club

2nd’s match report by Steve Lewis
1st’s match report by Joe Fisher
Photos by Kyoko Obayashi
Gents photos
1sts photos
YCAC Gents 43, Kawagoe Fighters 24 (HT 24-17)

1st Team 59, Kamariya Club 0 (HT 19-0)

YCAC 2nd Team
Are First Team wingers getting braver? Or are they just getting more stupid? Either way, First Team winger Epps agreed to fill in at loose head prop for the Gents and was then confronted by the biggest Japanese prop ever to grace (or was it disgrace?) the fields of Yamate. This was no powder-puff lump of lard, but 6 foot 6 inches and 30 stone of wounded sumo wrestler for whom rugby is now his only lawful means of battering human flesh. From the get-go, he bulldozed the YCAC scrum and flattened any player who came within his massive clutches (with or without the ball). For the one and only time this season, the YCAC Gents found their scrum so utterly disrupted that no clean ball was received from that outlet. The result was that we were living off scraps from line-out, ruck and maul.

Fortunately, Ben “Mellow Fox” Duncan stayed on the field after the First Team’s rout of Kamariya Club and produced a masterful display of deft touches with hand and boot to create tries galore for YCAC Gents. Ben scored one try himself, created another for Kenji Watermelon and the final two tries of the first half were scored by the man with the plumiest English accent in the side: Taichi “I Didn’t Go To Oxford, But You Would Have Thought That I Did” Noda. The matches in England and Wales at the weekend may have been dull kicking-fests, but Yamate in November is guaranteed to bring an avalanche of free-flowing rugby. So whilst YCAC scored four tries in the first half, they were matched by Kawagoe Fighters’ three tries leading to a nail-biting half-time score of 24-17.

The second-half started brightly for YCAC as Mellow Fox carved open the opposition to put Bill “Fountain of Youth” Baker through for a score that resembled his match-winning performance in last year’s Over 35’s Tournament. Kawagoe Fighters fought back immediately with a try of their own as the excitement and physicality grew. As if to answer the question posed at the beginning of this Match Report, erstwhile First Team winger Kenji Watermelon sprinted down the right wing, crossed the try line and then jack-knifed with a view to running between the posts. But then he was flattened by a Kawagoe Fighter and stepped on the dead-ball line, thereby sacrificing a certain try. Fortunately, YCAC had MVP impact sub Scott “Five Bellies” Sizemore to unleash on the Kawagoe Fighters and Scott’s beefy presence in the front row restored scrummage ball for the Gents. With more ball in hand, YCAC’s three-quarters began to exert their influence and Kenji Watermelon redeemed himself with a try five minutes later. Captain Tony Baildon put the icing on the cake with a final try to see YCAC slightly flattered by the 43-24 final score.

Postscript: The 30 stone of wounded sumo wrestler is actually Kawagoe Fighters’ First Team Captain and Kawagoe’s First Team are not a bad side having beaten Tokyo Gaijin earlier this year. So what a compliment it is to the flowering loosehead career of Epps that this Man Mountain came to the referee mid-way through the second half with a plea to stop Epps charging in early to get the first-up hit! With Tony Woodcock cited for foul play in the Bledisloe, Epps is now awaiting the All Black call for their European Tour.


YCAC 1st Team
On a perfect autumn day out at YCAC the home team overwhelmed Kamariya Club to maintain their perfect record in the Kanagawa League 1st Division.

Kamariya were actually our opponents in the Kanagawa League 2nd Division final this spring. We beat them 38-0 in that match but they won promotion to the 1st Division the following weekend by triumphing 15-8 over the Black Sea Gulls in a promotion / relegation match. However, they are clearly struggling with the step up with a for and against of 0-188 from their first three matches.

Sensing early on that this was going to be an easy match the YCAC team played a sluggish first half. However, it was discussed at half-time that the team we are playing next Sunday (Shonan Fuji) put 91 points on Kamariya and a collective decision was made to step up our efforts in the second half.

As always, there were several stories to come from the try scorers:
* Captain of Vice Tristan “Inside Center” Fahy crossed the line first for YCAC but then unfortunately had to leave the field shortly afterwards with a knee injury. Rumours that he deliberately injured himself after hearing from his fellow Captain of Vice (Dean “Fish” Stallard) how much more enjoyable Saturday nights are when you don’t have to play rugby Sunday are yet to be confirmed.
* Hardworking lock Aran “Big Dell” Delaney scored next for YCAC. This was Big Dell’s first try for the club and guarantees that he won’t be eating bagel after the 2010 Panty Shield – a guarantee that his fellow American Erich “Freezer” Friess would give his left testicle to secure.
* Inside center Mike “Griffo” Griffin overcame a niggling groin injury to score a hat-trick of tries – Kamariya must be hating the sight of Griffo as he scored a pair last time we played against them. After a couple of years playing for YCAC Griffo has now become completely acclimatized to the Japanese amateur rugby culture and, deciding to take a “When in Rome” attitude, has now incorporated cigarette breaks as key parts of his warm-up and warm-down routine.
* 19 year old fullback Noah “The New Crowbar” Pflaum continued his amazing scoring run by bagging another 24 points in this match, bringing his tally to 80 points in just five games (7 tries, 21 conversions, 1 penalty). The only thing looking like to stop Noah at present is a promise by Tristan Fahy to take the young fella under his wing and show him the delights of Roppongi.
* Finally, veteran back Ben “Angry Fox” Duncan did a day of self-imposed penance, trying to work off a massive hangover by playing most of the 1sts game and all of the Gents game. If that is what you play like hungover mate, you should start having a few on Saturday night more often!


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