YCAC Over 35s 2013

YCAC Over 35s 2013

Match report by Simon Tross Youle, photos by Kyoko Obayashi.

A timeless atmosphere, like that of the Zen garden at Ryoanji Temple, pervades the Over 35s tournament. The same people turn up decade after decade, all day the YCAC turf is witness to battles of the past being refought in slow-motion, and at the end of the day YCAC wins. It was the same story this year, but there were a few twists in the road to victory.

Pool games (15 minutes, no change of ends) were against Ellis and Kanagawa Fuwaku. Ellis were brushed aside easily, but Kanagawa Fuwaku went a try up, before the YCAC backs put their passing game together and ran in a couple of tries to ensure progress to the knock-out tournament (10 minutes a half) and a semi-final against Hokkaido Barbarians. It was all looking good, so much so that JK and our new prop/lock “DJ” had no hesitation in accepting a request to fill in for Hakuhodo, who were short of players for their semi against Acorn. Tournament adjudicator, the Vicar, looked up the tournament regulations and ruled that JK and DJ, having played for another team, could not reappear for us or YCAC would be disqualified. Turning a blind eye to equity and the spirit of rugby, Steve “Lord Nelson” Lewis stood his ground, so we took the field against Hokkaido minus two of our best players, reduced to a supporting role as water boys. Against the odds and a strong wind, YCAC held firm in the first half, with robust defence and some great takes at the kick off from Gareth Hayward, playing his first game for 3 years. In the second half, with the wind behind us, the backs broke loose and ran the Barbarians ragged, scoring 3 quick tries to secure our place in the final against Acorn.

The final was a tight contest, with Acorn looking to attack at every opportunity. After sneaking a first half try against the run of play, we were pinned back in our own 22, but tight defence and protection of the ball kept danger at bay. Short of our two water boys, second half retirements meant that tournament veteran Rhino, the reigning MVP, was forced to shrug off the injury sustained in Manila to change hurriedly at the side of the pitch before reinforcing the attack and inspiring a late score to take the game out of reach at 14-0 and clinch the trophy for YCAC.

A special mention for Griffo (5 tries on the day) and Gareth (rock solid), but a great effort by all the squad.

Squad:
1. Simon TY
2. Mike King/Marvin
3. Nike
4. JK
5. DJ Watabe
6. Daisuke
7. Kenji
8. Gareth Hayward
9. Masa
10. Cherry /Kazu
11. George
12. Griffo
13. Bill Baker
14. Kats Matsuo
15. Ken Noguchi

Staff: Kyoko
Manager: Rhino

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    W96 – 0 Sat Dec 6th
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    Acorn W62 - 7 Sun Mar 8th, 1.30pm
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