by Aaron Angelo – Photography by Mike Fortey

” Fiddle diddle, straight up the middle.”

The Cru converged on the Misato-Sankei Rugby ground on October 5th not only to play some good footy, but also to make history. For the first time there would be an openly gay rugby match played by an out team versus a straight team, and the Crusaders looked forward to staking their names in history as the victors. With the JRFU sanctions filed and referees procured, all the that stood in the way of a good day was kickoff. With a roster filled by both Old Boys and tourists, it was going to be a cracking day of rugby. Line up was as follows.

Starters:

1 Wada, Junki

2 Morgan, Reece

3 Tourist, Pierre

4 Tourist, Spencer

5 Tourist, Luca

6 Symonds, Patrick

7 Pentland-Smith, Brett

8 Tapuvae, Robin

9 Beasley, Matt

10 Riley, Jacob

11 Mestre, Hugo

12 Collins, Tim

13 Choi, Jisup

14 Limin, David

15 Sou

Finishers:

16 Robson, Seth

17 Tourist, James

18 Tourist, James II

19 Tourist, Jered

20 Tourist, Rod

21 Tourist, Simon

22 Tourist, Will

The game got off to a spirited start as the Cru scored first through Brett Pentland-Smith on an inside ball. After a quick conversion, the lads were knocking on the door again via a heavy forward pack featuring the dangerous and dreadlocked Robin Tapuvae. With the bulk of the Barbarians shifted inside to cover the forwards onslaught, Jisup Choi made his presence known via a try just left of center. With a missed conversion, the score now read 12-0 Crusaders leading. The Barbarians however, were not to be shoved off so easily. In the following minutes, and outside attacking ball by the visitors saw a quick score. With a successful conversion, the Cru were now in need of an answer. The answer came in the form of the lumbering, groaning, moaning, Captain of the Goggles himself, Corey Carter. Following a pair or pick-and-go’s by the pack, Corey set up an offload for David Limin to take it to the house. Conversion successful! A pair of tries by Taro Hasumi and Simon Tourist saw the Cru leading 36-7.

The Barbarians came out firing in the second half against the lads of Tokyo. A stolen line out followed by some crash balls saw the Barbarians back on the board with 36-14. Off the next kickoff, a Crusaders infraction saw the Babaas take a kick at goal successfully. 36-17, it was time for a Cru answer. As if on cue, James II came barreling across the gain line in open play to put the lads back on the front foot. Conversion good, scoreline 45-17.

It was at this point reinforcements began joining the fray. Not to be outdone by the new guys, Jisup Choi slithered his way across the defense, racking up another try for the men in blue. A subsequent try by tim Collins put the game in safe hands, as the Barbarians slowly began to realize they were playing for Pride and history. Hell bent to leave his own mark on the historic day, Robin Tapuvae proceeded to propel three (or four?) clean off his person to take in a mid-range try. As the clock passed eighty, Sou added an exclamation point on the win with a try of his own. Final Score: 66-17. Jacob Riley finished his day 6/8 on kicks, David Limin went 1/1, and Tim Collins was 1/1. The Crusaders MVP was Robin Tapuvae for his dominance at set-piece and close-range play, while Jonni Issacs took home MVP for the World Barbarians for his scoring and command of the pitch.

Until next time y’all!

 

 

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