Tokyo Crusaders vs. Swift RFC 24-20 (W)
by Maurice Joy

Though the day ended in cheers and beers, the outlook did not start so bright. The usual train station meet turned up a forbidding eight souls, one being a dapper dressed Travis already one bottle of vodka in the piss. The customary 15 minute wait turned into 45 as Tooley took a few more cancellations. On to the pitch with the lot, and a handful more already there, it would seem Crusaders had a bit of luck and some Navy Pride to field 15.

After a brief warm-up and explaining to some of the new welcomed players what a Rugby ball was, Cru kicked off to a bright-eyed and bushytailed Swift RFC. Swift took the offensive straight off, quickly scoring two tries in the first few minutes. Cru was taken aback but decidedly awakened. Cru struck back with anger as Dan M (side note, all the Yanks seemed be named Dan or Sean) got us into the try zone. Cru, now sure of themselves, decided to make a go of it with Beau putting another try on the scorecard. Swift, realizing that this would be no walk in the park, came back with a try before the end of the first half setting the score 15 to 10 in Swift’s favor.

Knowing that battle had only just begun, Cru went into the second half with a mind to knock these blokes off their game. Cru was now in good motion, with solid runs of the ruck from the pack and keen hands down the line to the backs. A bit of footy over the line with a chase and Beau scored his second try for the game. Swift, determined not to give up without a fight, retaliated with a try on their end. In all this excitement and intense play, Travis could no longer contain himself and weaseled his way into play despite it being his off weekend. To everybody’s amusement, his first go at it was not the usual surefooted, sidestepping, greased up… well you know what I mean. In a brilliant stroke of catching the ball through the haze of what is his life, he managed to take two steps before falling on his face with no opposition within reach. After the comic relief and some minutes of intense battle, Sean W. scored a final try for Cru giving us the lead we would keep until the final whistle-blow.

With the match in hand, we made our way to Warawara for a pint and a chat. The navy boys were so determined that they walked sans cab all the way from the pitch to the pint. Many stories were shared as the Kiwis tried to teach the Yanks how to speak English. Tooley even manage a bit of manners as he apologized for his lewd stories and swearing in front of Danny’s bird. Hopefully, Danny learned his lesson also.

Honorable mentions go out to a few: Steve Lewis (referee) for not giving us a yellow card after continued warnings on bringing down the maul, Tooley for playing a solid 2nd half at openside, yours truly for being selected man of the match by the Swift, and again to the Navy guys for making the game possible.

Player’s Men of the Match:
1st – Beau
2nd – Mo
3rd – Gene

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