Saturday 18 January

A cold, grey day at YCAC was transformed by the appearance on the touchline of a Bluff Clinic Nurse announcing “Fishnet Stockings Day”. Within 60 seconds of kick-off the pace had been set by Jason Dunn (shoulder) followed by Bruce Henwood (broken nose), Roger Ikeda (knee ligament), Ian the Aussie (broken nose), Hiro Yoshida (knee), Simon Ryan (calf), Kuri Kiggell (knee), Al Ferris (knee), Gareth Hayward (broken nose) and Paddy Maloney (contractions). One can only assume that the broken nose boys know something we don’t about the unique way in which nurses re-set noses at the Bluff Clinic.
The Gents were understandably distracted and Koganai quickly went into a 12-0 lead. Amazingly, it transpired that the Gents had the two quickest players on the pitch. Kingdom “Showboat” Mugadze and Hiro “the knee” Yoshida combined for a fantastic breakaway try. When wily captain Rhino (who knew this would be a close game) elected to kick a penalty, the lads were soon back in contention. The second half was a see-saw affair, but magnificent tries from Captain Courageous Rhino and Ian the Aussie meant the Gents ran out 22-17 winners. Captain Courageous has not played in a losing YCAC side for over 6 years now and manfully led the boys to victory despite pulling a calf muscle early in the game. Ian the Aussie won the Man of the Match Award for a tremendous try and also to prove that the “Pint in One” can be drunk with two cotton buds stuck up your broken nose. A special mention to Terry “Maradona” Dixon who jumped like a kangaroo,ran like a gazelle, tackled like a grizzly, played for both the Gents and Firsts and managed a visit to his favourite canteen girl in between. A surreptitious sideline snort raised suspicions of Maradona tendencies which were confirmed when a Koganai player raced over from 5 metres only to ground the ball on Terry because he was sure he saw a line.

The 1XV took the pitch looking quite fresh after a 10 minute warmup and pre game chat. With the monkey firmly on our back, the YCAC struck first with Charlie touching down a push over try. Losing players to the Bluff Clinic Nurse forced the backline to redefine itself several times during the match. Yoshi joined the centers late in the game, but saw his scoring streak come to an end. Kingdom didn’t have enough action in the first match and slipped several tackles enroute to making a celebratory dance in the try zone.
Despite the strong scrummaging of Go “Stay” Kawai and James “Buttocks” Bohan-Pitt and masterful lineouts by Arthur “don’t call me, I’ll call you”G-D-C, the Blues managed a 12 point first half lead. In the second half Garlo, Charlie (2 tries), and Arthur (1 try, 4 minutes) inspired a rally to close the gap. Poised to bring the deficit back to one try, an unfortunate knock on was scooped up and run back 95m for a Blues try. Rob “the Hitman” Jee made the tackle of the day on the Blues 135kg lock who must have been redirected on his way to the Kokugikan. Chris “Ozzy” Osborn slotted two conversions and had some interesting kickoffs, highlighting the difference between land legs and sea legs. Charlie was the “Man of the Match” for the second week in a row. Although he wasn’t impressed when the Blue’s Man of the Match ceeded his pint to a teammate (illegal substitution?), who poured it down the front of his jersey (very wasteful). Thanks to the Gents (Kuri, Kingdom, Al, Terry, Scotty and Mike) who came in as replacements for the firsts. Final score: Blues 46 YCAC 24.

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