A toast to Gareth

I can remember it quite clearly. I was at home in Christchurch, reading the paper, and the words “played rugby for the Tokyo Crusaders Rugby Club in Japan” struck to the very depths of my heart. I did not know Gareth, but the effect was quite profound.We are rugby players and we are family. It is now time to reflect upon why we are here and for whom we play.

Ladies and gentleman, would you please charge your glasses.I would like you all to share this drink with me.
We shall drink to those who have come before and passed beyond. We shall drink to tradition and memories. And we shall drink to Gareth and may his memory live on….
To Gareth.

Given by the Team Manager, Tokyo Crusaders RFC. 1 Dec 2012


Match Report

Tokyo Crusaders vs. YC&AC RFC. 62-5 (L)
by Alex Diaz

Although the Cru had a tough Sunday opponent, that didn’t stop us from banging heads on shoulders on Saturday as we fielded a sober 25 against YCAC for the MacFayden Cup. We warmed up in the brutal cold and sized up the opposition. After words from Gareth’s sister and nephew, who flew from NZ to watch the game, we held a moment of silence for Gareth just before the game began.

The Cru kicked off to begin the 1st half and we were introduced to how physical this game was going to be. It was all forwards for the first part of the game going back and forth between scrums and lineouts. Tom proved why he won Man of the Match honors as he consistently introduced his left and right hands to each member of YCAC. Evan was quieter than usual, or possibly it just seemed that way, because he followed through with keeping his cussing to an all season low, which may not mean much because I’m sure it will be made up for in the next two games. Before Benji “I know my damn last name” woke up in the shower, he… Well, we all know what happened so I’m sure he’ll figure it out. After some heartbreaking drives were cut short due to our own faults, the half ended after Paddy took advantage of Travis “I’m praying for a January Octoberfest” Jon’s try scoring attempt by scoring the try off of an assist from Travis.

Evan, our fearless team captain, gave a motivating halftime speech which inspired a room full of angry Crusaders, and a guy in a suit with long hair and sunglasses, to play even harder and take it to ‘em.

2nd Half

The YCAC found the first 20 minutes of the half to be surprisingly difficult and painful as we subbed on fresh Crusaders ready to deliver some big hits. The Sailors relieved some their stress on the opposition stemming from their recent mommy & daddy 11pm curfew. Ah, what it must feel like to be 13 again! Cheers to them for spending some of their limited freedom time battling with us Crusaders. Sometime around the halfway of the half, Pat “Pat Wheen”Wheen decided that enough rugby had been played and it was time for a dance off, but the opposition begrudgingly backed down. Not a surprise for two reasons: who would really face him in a dance off and didn’t Tooley tell YCAC of our other streak? The fact that we’re 2-0 when throwing a punch may not have crossed Pat’s mind. Things started looking down for us as we started getting injuries left and right taking out Ryuji, Frank, and forcing others to play less than 100%. Yorkie’s big run ended just short of the try line, dodging 14 out of 15 defenders. Even as time was winding down, ‘Sean‘ still seemed to be storming all over the pitch! It seemed as if ‘Sean’ had the energy of four people. As soon as Rich took the field, it all went to hell as Evan stated “Rich, if we lose this game it’s because of you.” Not to worry, as Travis consoled the team by reminding us we’ll still be winners because there is beer after the game.

Cheers to Tom for evening up the score 1-1 as he dominated YCAC’s Man of the Match in the beer chugging match.

Cheers to the entire team for breaking our punching streak of two games in a row.

Time to shave the moustache?

Player’s Men of the Match:
1st – Tom
2nd – Pat Wheen
3rd – Cavan

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1 Comment

  1. Ev says:

    clearly it was your fault Rich!
    If only we can get about 14 Samoans to play alongside you, we’ll be fine next year! Ma’Nonu must be due to retire soon?

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