9 Dec 2007 – YCAC 1sts vs Koryo

YCAC 1sts 94, Koryo 26 (HT 31-21)
Match Report – Joe Fisher
Photographer – Kyoko Obayashi

Tries: Joe Fisher (2), Ben Duncan (4), Matt Dimond (2), Daisuke Okada, Sias Potgieter (2), Matt Creagh (2), Alex Curran
Cons: Ben Duncan (11), Matt Creagh

After a tough afternoon the previous Sunday against Keio, the Firsts were keen to get things back on track against Koryo. The day started badly with four players pulling out for various reasons throughout the morning. This cut the reserves bench down from a (healthy) six players to a (slightly worrying) two. However, once assembled, the team went through a good warm-up and took the field in a positive frame of mind.

The match started well for YCAC with ‘Slow’ Joe Fisher opening the scoring with one of his typical close-range tries. However, the next three tries all went to Koryo and mid-way through the first half the Boys in Blue were staring down the barrel of a 21 – 5 deficit. There were probably a few worried faces on the sideline at this point – there were definitely a few on the pitch! Luckily, the Firsts response to the mounting crisis was to gain, rather than lose, focus. It had been pushing passes which had given Koryo their opportunities and once these 50/50 options were eliminated then the original game plan (keep it tight in the forwards) began to pay dividends. The pack started gaining good ground and, as a result, the backs were finding more space out wide.?Through the advantages in territory and possession which resulted from this turn-around, YCAC were able to get tries to Ben ‘Silver Fox’ Duncan, Joe Fisher, Matt ‘Posh Spice’ Dimond, and Daisuke ‘Silent Assassin’ Okada. Along with two conversions to Ben Duncan and one to Matt ‘Matty’ Creagh this late burst of scoring allowed YCAC to retake the lead and go into halftime with a 10 point buffer.

As in every previous match this season, the importance of starting the second half well was discussed during the break. Luckily, this time we actually did it. Within 10 minutes of the second half starting the Firsts scored four tries (Sias ‘Seabass’ Potgieter, Matt Creagh, and two more to Ben Duncan) and effectively ended the match as a contest. In the next 20 minutes five further tries followed (a second to Seabass, a second to Matt Creagh, a well-deserved try to the hard-working Alex ‘Currant’ Curran, a second to Matt Dimond, and a fourth try to Ben Duncan) and with Koryo managing only one solitary score over this time the referee decided to show some mercy and cut the second half 10 minutes short. A shame for the record books as YCAC clearly had a century beckoning, but probably the right call on the day – the contest was well and truly over by that point, the Koryo team had picked up a lot of injuries and there was clearly nothing to be gained by any further action.

In a match where the entire team played well there are four players who deserve a special mention:
1. Ben Duncan – Eleven conversions (out of eleven attempts) and four tries adds up to a personal haul of 42 points. That’s potentially more points in one game than some of our tight forwards will score in their entire career!
2. Seabass – Man of the Match for his two tries and good work in the tight. The foundations for a great game from the big South African were probably laid through a bit of biffo early on with one of the Koryo front row. No question who reaped the benefits of that exchange – by the end of the match the Koryo front rower looked like all he wanted to do was go home to his Mum!
3. Janco ‘The Boy Wonder’ Lubbe – Today was the last game in YCAC colors for Janco. This is a shame because, despite hanging around with us, Janco’s rugby has come on in leaps and bounds during his time at YCAC and he will be sorely missed. However, we wish him and his family all the best in Australia. (It’ll probably be a bit strange for Janco to go back to schoolboy rugby after time at YCAC, but we’re confident that he’ll get used to the more sophisticated humor levels fairly quickly.)
4. Mike ‘The Kingster’ King – Mike attended the Gents bonding session on Saturday but even with a dodgy back still turned up to provide injury cover for the Firsts against Koryo. A great team man, nobody would be silly enough to suggest that we want a whole club full of Kingsters – can you imagine it? – but one is very valuable.

Onwards and upwards to Ellis next Sunday …

Joe Fisher

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