2018/02/17

So after over a month of no rugby, Tokyo Crusaders have organised a friendly match against Tentomushi on the 17th of February in Inagi. For a change, Crusaders actually managed to fill in a whole team plus a bench with some new faces for a friendly. I guess the boys were keen after a big break.
The standard procedure of meeting 2 hours before kick-off and taking a taxi to the ground followed suit. Once we got there, the boys changed to their training gear, threw some banter at one another and then did their warm ups and before you knew it, it was close to kick off.
Gibbo then announce our starting line-up and mentioned that it will be rolling subs today so everyone will get some game time.
The line-up was the following:

Forwards

1. Yuki Adachi
2. Gen Hirano
3. Shota Honjo
4. Frank Saffery
5. Tom Cocks
6. Genki, Naya
7. Brent Pentland-Smith (c)
8. Patrick Symonds
Backs
9. Nabin Giri
10. Owen Morris
11. Benjamin Kunde
12. Kato
13. Matthew Sparrow (vc)
14. Takaaki Onuma
15. Travis Dixon

Reserves
Rei Morimitsu (Flanker)
Yuuta Sekizaki (No. 8)
Matsuo (Halfback)
John Gorman (Centre)
Alex Young (Centre)
Ross Welsh (Centre)
David Limin (Centre / Wing)
Tomohito Arakawa (Wing)
Alberto Mezzo (Fullback)

It was a strong line up but we all knew that we cannot be too arrogant because Tentomushi could surprise us if we don’t take them seriously.
And as the first half began, it was all Tentomushi in the first 15 minutes. As per usual, our handling error was poor and they managed to score first after a scrum turn over 5 metres from our line. They were also very quick on the break down which got them a couple of penalties and not long after, we lost our inspirational captain Brent after Cocksy decided to drop him at the lineout (Maybe he was training to become the next WWE superstar)


But soon he made amends and scored our first try which was probably the turning point of the game. Crusaders than had most of the possession and started to shift the ball out wide, even Travis passed the ball which is something that rarely happens. At one point, Sparrow had a 2 on 1 in our own half and passed the ball to Limin on the wing who somehow managed to out sprint their winger and fullback to score a 70 metre try. He was soon in for his second at the stroke of half time when Travis threw a perfect cut-out ball for a simple put down. (Yes ladies and gentlemen, Travis Dixon actually passed the ball not once, but TWICE!! in one game)
The second half began where the first left off. Travis was unstoppable, he palmed about half their team and set up Takaaki Onuma for his first ever try! Everyone was ecstatic and really happy for him because he promised that he was going to score this year, well done Taka!
After that, Kato who has been running beautiful lines all day and Yuki managed to get themselves on the scoresheet. Yuki however proved to everyone that he was a forward by missing the conversion from right in front!


Limin then managed to complete his hat-trick by Kangaroo jumping over 3 players on the floor to the try line. Owen then put a perfectly weighted cross field kick for Tomo to score and put the icing on the cake. Also Matsuo who played Halfback for most of the game also played really well for first game for the team. The final score was Crusaders 44 defeated Tentomushi 26!
Travis was rightfully chosen as our MVP by Tentomushi and most of us spent the evening at the usual Okonomiyaki place for Yuuta’s farewell as he is moving to New Zealand for about a year. We all wish him the best of luck.
Until next time!
Limin

5-4-3-2-1s:
Travis – 5
Limin – 4
Matsuo – 3
Kato – 2
Cocksy – 1

 

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