Over 35s Champions

Match report by Fraser Jamieson

YCAC triumphed for the 3rd time running as winners of the YCAC Over 35s
tournament yesterday.

After coming through the pool stages with 2 relatively easy wins over
Ellis and Zenkai Beers (26-5 and 15-0), we met Hokkaido Barbarians in
the semi finals of the Cup. They were well prepared this year and had
brought 30 players down with them. In contrast, by this stage our team
was starting to tire with a few succumbed to injury and others the call
back to Tokyo, so we were already looking for new recruits to beef up
our bench. A very tight 7-5 win saw us through to the final and our best
move by far was to negotiate the length of the game from 15mins each way
to 12mins each way – thank you Rhino

Kick off for the final was 6pm and we were playing under floodlights for
the first time. We were up against Waseda Club and they had come through
their semi final with a try in the last minute to win. Watching both
games YCAC looked the favourites going into the final but we were again
several more down, both to further injuries and also curfews – Yoshi who
had been outstanding at number 8 was one of the former with a calf
injury, however when his mate Katsu turned up he said that it may have
been the latter as he apparently had a party to go to a 7pm in Tokyo.
However, some hurried recruitment meant we had enough to take the field.
Waseda also fell for our strong tactic of reducing the game time and
again we played 12 mins each way.

We went one try down which went unconverted and though we had a lot of
possession through good ball from our dominant pack we could not get the
final pass required. However, the pressure finally told and a ball to
Ben from another good scrum on the 22, saw him step inside his man,
brush off a tackle and run through to touch down. A rather late tackler
to Ben after he had touched down, then decided to lie down on the ground
in the exact spot where Ben decided to spear the ball in a post try NFL
type celebration, and unfortunately took full brunt of the ball. The
referee however, would not believe Ben’s explanation of it “just being
an unlucky coincidence”and “wrong place at the wrong time”, and awarded
a penalty to Waseda after the conversion attempt.

The opposition also did not seem to believe Ben’s explanation and
decided to vocalise this with a war scream as they charged towards Ben
during his conversion attempt. Perhaps it worked and unsettled Ben or it
could just have been his 50% kicking ratio on the day – whichever, the
conversion just missed to the left and it was a tied game at 5-5. And
that is where the score was at the final whistle……thanks in part to
some try saving defence on a couple of occasions by YCAC.

It now left everyone studying the rulebook to see how the game was to be
decided. The suggestion of one player from each team stripping naked and
running the length of the field with the winner taking the Cup missed
out by a small vote and extra time sudden death was the decision. The
referee confirmed in the affirmative, Matt’s question do penalties
count? However, the question was irrelevant 4 minutes into sudden death,
when after another well won forward ball and rolling maul into Waseda’s
22, the ball was fed out along the line, with Bill Baker (who just
turned 62 last month) receiving it 5yds out with a man outside him in
space. Even though his body may be old, he proved his brain is not as he
quickly calculated that a 140lbs Waseda winger is a lot less than Bill’s
220lbs, and he ran through him and touched down for the Championship
winning score.

Thanks to all who played or helped out yesterday. It was a long but very
enjoyable day and look forward to making it 4 in a row next year.

Fraser

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    Opposition Results Dates
    Hokkaido Barbarians
    (Tour to Sapporo)
    L29 – 0 Sat Aug 30th
    Sharks
    (YC&AC ground)
    L41 – 21 Sun Sept 28th
    Komaba WMM
    (YC&AC ground)
    L36 – 22 Sun Oct 12th
    Kitakami
    (YC&AC ground)
    W40 – 27 Sun Oct 26th
    Taisei Reds (YC&AC ground) W18 – 17 Sun Nov 9th
    McFadyen Cup
    (YC&AC ground)
    W61 – 21 Sat Nov 22nd
    RKU
    (YC&AC ground)
    L76 – 3 Sun Nov 30th
    Koyama RFC
    (YC&AC ground)
    W96 – 0 Sat Dec 6th
    Mandara
    (YC&AC ground)
    L17 -10 Sun Dec 14th
    Acorn W62 - 7 Sun Mar 8th, 1.30pm
    Itochu Cancelled Sun Mar 15th, 1.30pm
    Over 35s Champs Sat Mar 21st
    56th YC&AC Japan Sevens Ryutsu Keizai University Sun Apr 12th