The Cru visited YCAC for the annual Mac Cup in honour of Gareth MacFadyen – a long-time Cru and occasional YCAC player in whose memory this annual fixture has been played for the last decade and a half. The Cru got smashed in the MacFadyen Cup 2017 but there were enough positives to give the boys hope for improvement come spring. I’m going to estimate at least two-thirds of the players who penciled-in as starters on Saturday didn’t show up due to injuries and other pathetic excuses. Sean Gibson, at least, made it to the ground but succumbed to his dodgy back during the warmup robbing the team of what surely would have been a stampeding performance from the testosterone-fueled beast that he was about to morph into. Before the players took the field they observed a moment’s silence for former Cru and YCAC player Gareth MacFadyen, who passed away in a tragic accident 17 years ago. It was always going to be hard-yards against a team with at least a half dozen Samoan and Maori boys and, sure enough, the big brown fellas had enough pace, power and confidence to open some gaping holes. Luke Bradley, the traitorous bastard, was one of them and should be forced to down at least a liter of beer as punishment next time he turns out for the Cru. On the positive side, our scrum and lineout were competitive after the first 10 minutes and the game provided some pretty good tackling practice. We missed plenty but we also made plenty. For me the top moment of the match was Jerry Sysourath’s big hit on his opposite wing following up on a kick in the first half. Jerry, played “safety” in his high-school American football team back in Minnesota, which explains a lot. Perhaps that’s why he led with his helmetless head and looked a little stunned after his big play but I think we can all agree that Jerry’s brain cells died glorious deaths. Another highlight was Isao “peachy” Hayakawa’s chip along the ground that was collected by a charging Brett Pentland-Smith who squirmed over for the Cru’s only try. When the final whistle blew YCAC had, as usual, retained the large, shiny MacFadyen Cup with a 64-7 win. Now it was time for the real test of strength – a court session on the field presided over by Owen Morris and Brett, who had a nice collection of drinking chants to keep people in rhythm during their punishment. Much was revealed during the session, including the fact that James wears suspenders under his trousers and the origin of Isao’s nickname. Travis Dixon, won the Movember facial hair prize, but made tough going of a supercharged fine. Others who were supercharged – not the sparkling cider sipping Air Force boys of course – may have only hazy recollections of what was to follow and I’ve got no idea because I was dragged back to base in the middle of it but as far as I know everyone survived. Next installment – the Xmas Bash.