Sat 2 April – YCAC Europe 38 YCAC RoW 19

The Good Book tells of a swaggering, arrogant bully named Goliath who believed too readily in his own invincibility and did not prepare properly for his big match. So it was at YCAC with an ROW Team who had 12 regular 1st Team players qualifying for their side. The night before the game, the Goliaths drank heavily at the bar named “Muse” and imbibed heartily of the new designer drink of the rich and trendy in Tokyo: Grapefruit Chu-Hi (yes, the YCAC 1st Team backs don’t drink beer any more, they drink girlie Grapefruit Chu-Hi these days).
The former Goliath Captain Erich Freiss harangued the poor Davids in the week before the game reminding them that they had never won a Panty Shield encounter. And the Goliaths themselves arrived late at the ground and casually swapped stories about the previous night’s encounters over drinks in the Breezeway before the game. In contrast, the Europe side had gone to bed early and arrived at the ground early to practise line outs, scissors and miss-moves. During the week, it had been agreed that Masa “It’s Getting Out of Control. Get Rid of the Bullshit Comment On Player Profile, It Is Enough” Nozaki should play for YCAC Europe. But Masa did not turn up. Presumably, he had other commitments totally unrelated to hockey. The next day at the YCAC Sevens it was noted that Masa had suffered injuries to his lower body that had nothing whatsoever to do with a large English woman whose mammaries resemble the ski slopes of San Moritz. Consequently, the YCAC Europe Manager made the radical decision to select an 18 stone prop at scrum half thereby sacrificing mobility and distribution to leave YCAC Europe with “up the jumper” rugby as its only option.
The game started just as the Goliaths had expected when Ian Miller crossed for a try in the first minute. Although the referee gave the try, and Ian downed the mandatory tequila, the touch judge indicated that before touching down, Ian’s showboating had lead him to put a foot on the line of the in-goal area. The impartial referee had no choice but to eradicate the score.
In his last game at YCAC before returning to the UK, Kieron Dwyer had an outstanding game in the centre, side-stepping at pace to score two magnificent tries in the first half. In contrast, Maui appeared totally distracted and was having a nightmare in the centre for the Goliaths. Whether it was the baby faces of his Tacklers in Chief (Tom Watkins and Alex Coyne) or the poor delivery from his colleagues, Maui was unable to cradle the ball and drifted father and father from the play. Perhaps it was the pregnant pauses and holes created by Johnny Englishman, but Maui played like a man who had dropped the baby.
Yuji Sato scored a scintillating try for YCAC RoW and Scott Sizemore kicked the conversion with aplomb. No surprise to those who watch Scott play on a regular basis: over the course of the season Scott does more kicking of oval objects than any other YCAC player (admittedly rarely the rugby ball… more often the heads of his wife’s countrymen).
At half-time, the score was 19-7 and Europe capitalised on more magnificent “up the jumper” rugby with two tries from scrum half Kieron “the Prop” Walsh and another by Marcus “Who Ate All the Pies” Waudby. A couple of very dodgy refereeing decisions let the ROW Goliaths back in the game when the referee ignored a blatant knock-on and gave a dubious late tackle penalty. Ian Miller capitalised on both occasions to bring ROW back into the game at 31-19 with five minutes to play.
The last five minutes were a real treat for spectators as players from both sides vomited on the pitch: Ian Miller after having downed his third tequila of the day and Kieron the Prop after realising that his opposing scrum half was not wearing rugby boots but had black, hairy, foul-smelling, mis-shapen hobbit feet.
Niall the Irishman scored a final try with a super break from fly half and conversions from Dan Clark, Tom Teffot and Terry Dixon put the seal on Europe’s victory. It is interesting to note that the conversion kicking of the front five exceeded by far the percentage of successful kicks made throughout the season in both the 1st Team and the 2nd Team.
As the match reached its conclusion, the ROW Goliaths went beyond the bounds of decency in both whingeing and cheating. Indeed, for the last ten minutes the ROW Goliaths brought on an Otago Super 12s centre, but still the gutsy European Davids stood firm.
At the end of the day, the Panty Shield was won by Europe for the first time to send the series score to two wins for ROW, one win for Europe and a tie. The European Team were all heroes with fantastic, gutsy performances from Englishman Ben Kiggell, Frenchman Tom Teffot, Welshman Tom Watkins, Irishmen Kieron Dwyer and Niall Jefferson, but not a Scotsman in sight. The Panty Shield is a memorial match for Jerry Hegarty for whom we held a minute’s silence before the game. Jerry would have been delighted with the win for the European boys and would have posthumously awarded the Man of the Match Trophy to another stumpy, fluent Japanese-speaking runt of a chap with an eye for the girls but a disappointing lack of inches in the manhood department: Terry Dixon who tackled, rucked, mauled, line-out jumped and even kicked his conversion with a top quality performance.
Europe Tries: Kieron Dwyer (2), Kieran Walsh (2), Niall Jefferson, Marcus Waughby. Cons: Dan Clark, Tom Teffot, Steve Marcon, Terry Dixon
RoW Tries: Ian Miller (2), Yuji Satoh. Cons: Scott Sizemore, Justin Clancy


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