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The 1992/93 Season
For the club’s third season, Stewart “Tooley” Henwood took the helm, sporting a mustache that would have made Tom Selleck envious.
The burst of the bubble had done nothing to the determination of the team, and the Cru won 27 out of 29 games throughout a dominant season.
We will soon post a report from Stewart himself, and until then enjoy his speech from the end of season dinner here below.
The Manager’s Speech
End of season dinner. Roppongi Prince Hotel, 26 June 1993.
Ladies and gentlemen, and players. Welcome to the third annual end-of-season dinner of the Tokyo Crusaders Rugby Football Club.
First of all, I would like to thank you all for your support over the past season. And what a season it has been. From the outset we went for the throat and tried to arrange games with all the top teams. I wanted to play and beat them all. In the first part of the season our morale was high and I do believe we were the best, beating Y.C.A.C. and Kurumi. I tried to build a team of players who were strongly loyal to their club and dedicated to being the best. However there is a danger in winning. After the New Year I felt a little complacency in the team, and I think I mentioned it in one of my wee notes. Nevertheless, we continued our winning ways until we came up against Ellis. In this game we were too eager, too panicked, and we didn’t play our game. They beat us, and it hurt. It was about this stage that we were struggling to make a full team, compared to the beginning of the season when we had at least 25 players at each game.
The Tokyo Cup arrived and we were stunned by a new team that fought back in the second half as we relaxed, almost costing ourselves the game. The second game we made sure with a comfortable win. But the third game was a shocker, I must admit that I expected a win, putting some players on the field that had not been selected in the previous two games. I did not feel this to be a mistake as I had confidence in their ability. What I did not count on was the other team’s strong desire to win, and our team’s overall lack of spirit and discipline, resulting in a number of late tackles giving our opponents at least 9 points. I honestly feel we put too much emphasis on winning all games during the year, and by the time we entered the cup we had already peaked and were nowhere near the team we could have been. Therefore it is my recommendation to the new manager to have a relaxing first half of the season and build up to the cup next year with the pressure coming on when it is needed the most. There are only two teams we must beat next year and they are Ellis and Doronko, and we must at all cost make it into the first division, which is my only major disappointment of the year.
All in all we had an excellent year and I am proud, as I hope you all are, to be a part of the best bloody Rugby club in Japan. We played 29 games and lost only 2, 802 points for and 214 against. We have shown that we are here to stay and each year our club is getting stronger and stronger, gradually earning the respect we deserve. Also, in the not too distant future I would like to see our club split into two teams, a competitive team and a social team. I have enjoyed the season immensely, although I must admit, I feel as if I have aged ten years! Yuko and I will marry in September, so I will be coming back as… just another irresponsible player next season, (if only I can keep my nose out of the incoming committee’s affairs). Speaking of which, it is time to announce the new manager, or should I say managers, Gary and Mitch. As a symbolic gesture I would like to present you with the manager’s clipboard, which I dare say, I’m a little sad, but not sorry, to see the back of. I wish you and the new committee all the best for next season.
Good luck, and the floor is now yours. Thank you!