by John Akiba

This is the match report for Sunday, May 1, 2016 against the Mitaka JPL Rugby Football Club:

It was a calm sunny Sunday morning when our boys showed up to the Rinkai Kyogijo Stadium pumped up and ready for another solid performance at the Tokyo cup. It was the 2nd Tokyo cup game, which was was a must win for the Crusaders if we are to keep our hopes of promotion alive. We arrived at the field with exactly 23 to fill the roster. While the team went to go get gear checked by the referees, they announced some good and bad news. The bad news was that Mitaka rugby club didn’t have enough players to play a 15’s match, so they had to forfeit the game. The good news was the Cru received another W in the books which was equivalent to a 35-0 win.

Due to the default loss by Mitaka, both teams decided to play a practice game. Some Cru members volunteered to play for the other team, while some other teammates had no choice.

The 1st half was an exciting one for the Crusaders. Making it over the gain line almost every phase, we consecutively drove it down the field on every possession. Furthermore, our offloads, after we broke a couple of tackles allowed us to play a faster style of rugby. Sometimes it got sloppy with silly senseless knock-ons and penalty calls, for hands in the ruck, but we were diligent enough keep on playing Cru style rugby. (Try scorers, first half: Brendan G, Reece M, Matt F, John A (2), Tsukasa K, Amhed Y, Jackie W).

In the 2nd half Cru made some big changes. Four of our big and talented backs and forwards went to the other team, but Mitaka still didn’t have a fair chance against the Crusaders. The Cru’s forwards methodically ran over the gain line so we could get a clean ball out to Travis (10) and the rest of the backs. From then on, The tries and conversion kicks points were raining down on the scoreboard. (Try scorers: Travis, John A, Jackie W).

At the end of the day the Man of the Match for the Crusaders was Travis Dixon. For Mitaka it was Mr. Atsushi Ono.

All in all it was a great day. A win under the belt and no one getting injured. Thank you for a fun day of rugby and let’s go get that last win for the Tokyo Cup.

P.s. Thank you to the supporter who came out to watch the game, the water and tee girls, cameraman Gen.

Finally, thank you Aiko-san for your support all throughout your time with the Crusaders. (It was her last day with Cru) You brought energy, hospitality, and a great attitude to the Crusaders team. We will miss you dearly. Please come support us again soon. As always, “Once a Crusader, always a Crusader.”

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