Kanto Top League 27 Nov 2011: YCAC v Mandara

Match report by Willie Lapthorn and photos by Kyoko Obayashi.

Like a mother giving strict orders to her horny 16 year old daughter before dropping her off at the school dance, YCAC’s coach Simon “Mother” Ryan demanded that his players “keep your mouths shut and don’t talk back” as they ran onto the field to play their final pool match of the Kanto Top League against Mandara. And just like the daughter, the YCAC players soon ignored the motherly advice and had their tongues flying only minutes after kick-off. Unfortunately for YCAC, this lack of discipline against the match officials meant contributed to YCAC being penalized at least every few minutes throughout the entire game.

Prior to kick-off the brains’ trust of YCAC had carefully considered its game plan as they watched an enthusiastic Mandara team, complete with a shadow XV to train against, warm up for two hours. At the same time the brains’ trust surveyed YCAC’s starting XV and it wasn’t long before they realized that the motley crue of smokers, binge drinkers and bullsh*tters lazing around front of them had no plan in life and as sure as hell weren’t going to follow any game plan in a rugby match.

Luckily for YCAC, the referee already had a plan and after conceding yet another penalty in the opening minutes, YCAC knew that going would be tough. Usually in such circumstances, it’s expected that the tough get going. Which is exactly what happened. Forwards and backs alike, YCAC turned-out an aggressive and fearless display of defence which thrilled the 11 YCAC supporters watching on. Few tackles were missed in a dogged display of courage under fire.

However, Mandara’s continuous attack did have a casualty midway through the first half with Aran Delaney taking what he thought was heavy artillery shelling at a ruck. The only trouble was that no one, including Del himself, knew what part of his body was missing, bleeding, dislocated, and/or broken. The result was like Del had been tasered by a sniper. As the electrical current surging through his body Del went from standing to lying on the ground, back to standing, to lying… all the while as he spasmed and contorted into a hundred different positions clutching wildly at different body parts in a high-tempoed solo version of the kama sutra. Language spewed forth from his mouth that no one had ever heard before – YCAC’s favourite evangelist had been overtaken by the devil.

After a few minutes Del finally had his body back and the team had Del back. Still perplexed by the demonic possession they had just witnessed, Mandara were at their weakest and Steve Gray was all too happy to exploit a gap out wide, a considerable distance from the maul he should have been in, to score a well-worked try. The points gave YCAC a lead of 5-0 at halftime.

YCAC’s fearlessness also transferred to the scrum where the much vaunted Mandara front row containing two ex-professionals were hammered by their opposites in Nike, Yosuke and Dean. After two conceding two tightheads out of two scrum feeds, Mandara decided that the only way to save face was by collapsing the scrum. The referee, feeling empathy with the face-saving gesture, penalized the Viagra-driven YCAC scrum as it stood standing firm while the Mandara front row flopped on the ground in front of them begging for mercy.

On the contrary, there was no show of mercy and when not giving away penalties, YCAC was able to lay on a further 24 points in the second half with the tries being deservedly shared between the piggies and the Porsches. Special plaudits go to YCAC’s back three of Eps, Arnaud and Joe Naulu who all had an industrious day and contributed on the scoreboard.

However, the most special mention must go to South African lock Sias Potgieter in the last play of the game who aptly summed up YCAC’s never-say-die attitude. Standing on the wing (where he had observed other forwards stealing tries), Sias sensed a meat-pie could be his if the cards fell the right way. They didn’t and the ball was soon making its way along the opposition plains where it reached Mandara’s winger. The winger, sleek as an antelope, saw the big hippo gazing at him and galloped around his outside and down the touchline on the way to the tryline. Little did he know that he’d just fallen into a crafty trap by the wise old hippo who thundered after him licking his lips. Closer and closer Sias got until it was now-or-never and the hungry hippo launched himself at terminal velocity onto the hapless antelope. The earth shook as Sias landed with a almighty thump onto the ground and the ball spilled out quietly over the trickle of blood coming from the lifeless antelope. Sias had just saved a certain try, the game was over and YCAC had qualified for a promotion match to the first division of the Kanto Top League.

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