by Aaron Angelo

At the ass-crack of dawn, we once again found ourself in the concrete shell of Kannamachi Station. As many a commuter rushed to make their Sunday appointments, none took heed of the sweatshirt wearing behemoths gracing the exit archway. Their faces grim and grey to sleep deprivation, hangovers, dry spells, or who knows what? Nevertheless, the valiant Cru set forth on their 9:00 AM quest to seize the Shuto League Championship for themselves in 2020. Having already defeated league stalwarts AJJ, a victory here would seal the gold outright. The lineup was as follows:

STARTERS
1 Morgan, Reece
2 Adachi, Yuuki
3 King, Josh
4 Cocks, Tom
5 Saffery, Frank
6 Pentland-Smith, Brett
7 Park, Yon
8 Maurin, Nicolas
9 Matsuo, Kazuma
10 Kurihara, Ken
11 Reidenbach, Sean
12 Konrote, Tamiana
13 Reid, Brett
14 Arakawa, Tomohito
15 Dixon, Travis

FINISHERS
16 Boukraa, Mikhael
17 DeGruchy, Arthur
18 Hasumi, Taro
19 Mestre, Hugo
20 Spencer, Sam
21 Symonds, Patrick

At the kick off, it quickly became apparent Swift were there to compete. Their tenacity at the breakdown was unnerving at the start, combined with a few individuals from the Top East and Kanto Citizen’s League (Hmmmmmmmmm)seemed to be making for a difficult outing. Difficult that was, until the wrecking ball came along. Tamiana crashed through the mid-field, linking up with Ken to score the opening try. No sooner had the dust settled, and the boys were back at it again. Paku rampaged over the line to dot down the pill, followed by the French Barbarian Nicolas adding some points as well. Swift refused to go down silently however, and ran headlong off a scrum to score inside the 22. Angered by this heresy, team captain Brett stiff armed a few defenders to reach the line and keep the blue boys in front headed into half time.

Heading into the second half, the Cru came alive unlike any match before. After some smashing scrummage by the front rowers Josh, Reece, Arthur, Yuki, and Sam, it was time to go on the offensive. Frank galloped for a whooping 40 meter break, offloading to (young) Sean for yet another try as the sidelines erupted in cheers. It was at this point Ken engaged god mode, and proceeded to rack up another pair of tries plus a kick chase to put the lads ahead. The Swift forwards rallied however, and scored again off a line out switch, putting the Cru temporarily off balance. Operating quietly in the background, Hugo made his presence known with an emphatic score near the death which rounded up the points to 54. Ken was 7/8 on his conversions, the boot making the difference for the lads.

Afterward, the team convened in a nearby car park to celebrate. Breaking open beers and wine while Tooley brought forth the Shuto gold Trophy once more. The crusade knows no bounds, and we look forward to another rousing Shuto run in 2021! Three two ones are as follows:

Kurihara, Ken 5
Maurin, Nicolas 4
Konrote, Tamiana 3
Pentland-Smith, Brett 2
Saffery, Frank 2
Dixon, Travis 1
King, Josh 1

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