By Travis Dixon
Recently the Tokyo Crusaders, in association with the Yokota Air Force Base, hosted the Second Annual Meat Cup, proudly sponsored by The Meat Guy (meatguy.co.jp). It was a cracking spring Saturday when the five teams turned up at the Yokota Gates. Unfortunately, despite the best-laid plans of Jason and Sgt. Tooley, there were a few hiccups and a number of players and support crew were denied entry.
Nevertheless, those that were allowed on the base made the most of it, and with a reduced competition of four teams, it made the competition even fiercer, as the Tokyo Crusaders, All France, George Washington and NTT Hibiya/Fuji competed for the coveted Meat Cup.
The first match between the Tokyo Crusaders and All France was a pretty one-sided affair from the get-go. The Crusaders caught the kick-off and scored from the opening phase. It was pretty one-way traffic for the rest of match, with the final score being 8 tries to none. Try scorers for the Cru were: (Dominique, Travis, Travis, Steven, Philippe, Van, Pierre, Ken)

The second match was between George Washington and NTT Hibiya/Fuji. Your faithful correspondent would love to be able to tell you what happened, but he was too busy organising the acquisition of more beer than you could shake a stick at from the local NEX, so he’s got no idea. But the final score was a GW victory, 3-2, in what was I’m sure a closely-fought match.
Similar story for the next match, as All France made amends for their early loss against the Cru and came back to beat the GW 6 – 3.
Now, you’d think I’d remember this next game better as I played in it, but to be honest I don’t remember a whole lot. In the spring sunshine, the beers were going down pretty quickly and Marc and Laura had the BBQ fired up with all sorts of excellent BBQ meats from the meat guy, so there were a few distractions in the way of the rugby. I do remember, though, that the Crusaders carried on their usual pattern of dominance with storming runs from Dom and Pierre (who both picked up a double in this game). It seems 10s is a pretty good format for these two to showcase their talents with ball in hand. Philippe and yours truly also picked up a try a piece to finish up 6 – 1.
Then there was a game between All France and NTT Hibiya/Fuji, the former claiming the victory 5 – 3.
At this point I’d take a moment to commend the excellent referees for the day, Mr. Yoshioka and Mr. Lee. Both did a fantastic job and kept up with the fast running play all day. Arigato!
The next match-up was between the Cru and GW. This is always a great grudge match, as the GW have been a generous supplier of players to the Cru over the years and both clubs have established an excellent relationship, but come kick-off time, both sides are always out there trying to send a message. Fortunately for the Cru, we had more depth in the bench which means we had a bit more juice in the tank in the later fixtures. A good example of one of our impact players off the bench is Curtis, who played his second ever game for the Cru. The first, I hear, ended in an unfortunate knock to the head, so it was good to see him give it another go. Considering it was his second attempt at rugby, I’d say he did pretty well to bag a double in a convincing 8 – 0 victory for the Cru. (Tries to: Macer, Philippe, Alex, Jason , Dominique, Jeremy, Curtis x 2)

Moving onto the finals, the GW won the plate by a default, as the heavy knocks and all-day running took its toll on NTT Hibiya/Fuji and so they could not field a team for their final match of the day (or they were more tempted by the beers and BBQs, which is an equally excusable reason for a default).
The final was between Tokyo Crusaders and All France. One again, the backs ran rampant and scored plenty of tries, while the forwards did their job up front and put in some heavy hits and won good turnovers. Speaking of which, I’ll take a moment to express my gratitude for having our own Gaul, Gauldric, on our side during this encounter. All day he put in some fierce hits and didn’t spare any when he was playing against his fellow countrymen in the final. The end score for the final was 8 – 1, in favour of the Cru, who raised The Meat Cup at the final ceremony.

Crusaders Try Scorers were: Dominique 5, Pierre 4, Travis 3, Steven 3, Philippe 3, Alex 3, Macer 2, Curtis 2, Ken, Jason, Jeremy, Galdric, Koichi.

We wrapped up the day with the grand prize draw which raised a very healthy contribution to club coffers.
Huge thanks to all who purchased tickets, donated fantastic prizes and support the club with sponsorship:

  • The Meat Guy
  • SYNERGY Center
  • Geronimo Shot Bar
  • The Hangover
  • TwinTips Ski/Snowboard school
  • Two Dogs Taproom
  • Club 360
  • Propaganda
  • Brian Joseph – Golf Instructor
  • Johnny Oliveira – Kick Boxing Instructor

In all the day was a great success and will allow us to aim for even bigger and better things next time around.


In association with The Meat Guy

Posted by Tokyo Crusaders Rugby Football Club on Sunday, 29 March 2015

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