Saturday 7 December

The Gents and the firsts both beat Tokyo Crusaders: 31-10 and 45-14 respectively. An outstanding day for YCAC. Now the skipper and Il Presidente have to decide who has to polish the cup now we own it for another year . . . .

In the absence of Scotty Sizemore, who was grounded by his wife for coming home late, Rhino stepped in to skipper the Gents. In the early going, his booming kicks kept the Gents out of harm’s way. Ben “how many tries have YOU scored lately?” Kiggell opened the scoring with a dazzling 5m run. It should be noted that Ben, who had been tryless for the past two seasons, has scored 3 tries in his last 4 games! Despite the Cru 2XV wheeling out a few of their own big boys, they were no match for the men of the Gents, who stamped their authority on this match. The front row featuring Hoskie, Bollocks, Brookey and Richard Corner was all beefcake. Jimmy “China” Lovegrove, back in Japan for the weekend and playing #8, picked up (quite literally) where he left off and tallied three tries. In the second half, Brookey “don’t call me Michael” Brooke scored the try of the game on a penalty play from 10m out (Paddy Maloney had plenty to push on as he drove Brookey over the line). Fraser showed some great moves in the #15 jersey and Rhino kicked 3 of 5 conversions to contribute to the convincing 31-10 final score. The Man of the Match drink-off pitted Brookey against the Cru’s Kiwi Sam. Despite the countless hours Sam logs in Roppongi bars, he proved to be more of a sipper than a chugger, as he was trounced by Brookey.

The firsts stepped onto the soggy pitch determined to retain the Gareth MacFayden Trophy (that we won last year on a last minute Rich Freeman try). The beginning of the game saw the two sides reasonably equal, however the Cru scored and converted the game’s first try. This proved to be the wake up call the YCAC needed and the boys roared back with a vengeance. After the ball took some unusual bounces, Garlo scored the YCAC’s first try and Rich Freeman slotted the conversion from the sideline to even the score at 7-7. The onslaught had begun.
In a dominating display the YCAC reeled off six unanswered tries. Rich Freeman deftly kicked the first five conversions (mostly from the sideline) before darkness and rain made it too difficult to see the posts. The pack led by Terry Brink and Go “Rip Van Winkle” Kawai played a tremendous game. Back rowers, Robbie Grant, Yoshi Amano (2 tries) and James “anybody seen my leather jacket?” Rogers (1 try) scorched their opposite numbers. Arthur “Le Vomi” GDC, Gareth Hayward and Terry Brink set the tone with fierce tackling. The backline was once again sparked by Masa (1 try), Garlo (1 try), Rob Evans, Nicko “Shot Dr.” Humphries, Rikki Nakamura (2 tries), Chris Goddard and Rich Freeman as YCAC 15 man rugby was on display. Kevin Rideout and Nick Dreves came on as replacements and performed well. The Cru, playing to the final whistle, managed a late try, which Yoshi Amano answered to close out the day YCAC 45 Crusaders 14. All in all, a very well played game of rugby, showing tremendous pride and commitment.
The Cru selected Terry Brink as the YCAC’s Man of the Match (quite possibly because they knew they would have a better shot at winning the drink-off, which Nick Cederwell did).

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