By Matt Sparrow

This weekend, we had the pleasure of welcoming an old friend back for a guest appearance: Sunday would mark the return of Bassi. It would seem that some of the Cru were eager to get started and had a “quiet” drink with the Bavarian Braumeister. Throughout Friday evening, night, and well into the following morning, some were lucky enough to receive a running commentary of the boy’s night out in Roppongi, including Foster dancing in an empty bar and making some new friends; incoherent ramblings; and a picture of super-chlamydia patient zero. So, arriving at Akigase, it was no surprise to see that Foster was still a bit of a state from Friday night’s excesses and was happy to be our super-sub. Bassi was there, Jagermeister in hand, fresh as a daisy! Ed… nowhere to be seen.

We were keen to be ready for our opposition this week as we remembered that the last time we met, the game had been a hard fought win at 39-24. From the kick-off, the opposition came out of the blocks quicker than the Crusaders, scoring the first try. This was the result of a chased penalty kick – the Tokyo Doctors taking the early lead, but only by 5 as the conversion was missed. Desperate to make sure we didn’t have another game like we did against AllJinJan, it wasn’t long until the Crusaders brought the scores back to 5 – 5 with a fantastic pick-and-go from Tomo, breaking through the defence before being put down over the line by Tavis. The try was converted, Crusaders leading 7 – 5.

From here on the Crusaders dominated the score line, which is not entirely indicative of the flow of the game, but the Crusaders capitalised on opportunities arising from opposition handling errors. The back line put in some solid tackles – notably so from Owen and Dylan. Not to be outdone, Bassi would show us one of the reasons we have missed him, as he put in a monster of a tackle, when defending a penalty tap-and-go on our 5 metre line. Seb was the next to score, kicking the ball from the ground into hand with his Argentinean footballing flair, before taking it over the line for another try. Taku scored the final try of the half with some fantastic running, and support play – both him and Tsukasa working their way around the defence. The score at half time: 19 – 5.

For the first ten minutes of the second half, the Tokyo Doctors threatened to score, camping out in the Crusaders half for the duration. Rob was to turn the tide though, as he broke away from the back of a maul, down the blindside, and scored under the posts. After some more earnest defence from the Crusaders, and a ridiculous one handed interception from Joe, the Cru made their way up the field once again. This time Yuki was the man to score, ploughing through the defence and storming 70 metres (…well, 30 metres really) down the centre of the pitch. Two minutes later, after some nice passing and footwork from the backs, Dylan managed to slip through the Doctors grasp and put another 5 points on the board.

After making the poor bugger run touch for much of the game (sorry mate!) the Crusaders then welcomed a new player – Callum – to the team. Finally, as my mum was present at the match, I was keen to get a try for myself, and after calling for a switch with Joe, I was a greedy shit and dummied, scoring under the uprights. Sorry Joe, I owe you one. The final score: 45 – 5 to the Crusaders.

Tokyo Doctors MVP – No. 8, Mr. Kinoshita
Tokyo Crusaders MVP – Tomo

321s were….
5 points – Tomo; 4 points – Taku; 3 points – Dylan/Cocks; 2 points – Joe; 1 point – Seb

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