Line ups – 14 at kick off as per Cru tradition! Goddems had a squad of 25 men and were ready 2 hours before KO. Mo, Andy Howard, Ryuji, Patrick, Alex Howard, Taka, Shin, Sean, Ev, Trav, Jason, Skurry, Seth, Gaz, Kazu. Res: Marc, Sam We just about made 14 at the kick off thanks to 2 ex Nagoya Barbarians, Kazu and Shin who helped out for the day. They both had very solid games as did another guy on his Cru debut, Kiwi Jason – who was storming on the wing and set up 2 tries. We started well and bagged the first one with Shin going over after a turnover from Taka, good lead up work from the forwards and then a nice kick and chase from Trav to Jason and Seth. We lost the plot for a while though and the well-drilled Goddems back row and inside backs starting to run the ball away from our forward pack (clearly an illegal tactic and against the spirit of rugby!). However we bagged a good try to Trav just before half time and ended up at 12-12 at the break. After the break some big runs from big Patrick, Alex and Mo saw us on the front foot and Skurry adn then Trav went over for tries that saw us up by 3 with five minutes to play. No wuckas! However, after turning over the ball the whole Crusaders defensive line decided to all, simultenously put on their Quade Cooper impressions – and whilst being spot on and very entertaining, saw the Goddems fullback run in untouched (although we saw a lot of flailing arms from a metre away!) under the sticks for what we thought was the winning try. The kick from in front was missed under pressure though and we were 3 points down with a few minutes to play. The Cru steamed forward and got a penalty for their good breakdown work for what would be the last roll of the dice. Despite Skurry trying to kick the ball dead from 70m out again, we managed to take the right option and tapped and ran! Some great blindside hands from Shin and Seth put us into the Goddem’s half. Two more penalties against the goddems after full time had gone saw us with go-forward ball and finally the Goddems ran out of numbers, Skurry had a 3 man overlap – a neat ball to Travis’s chest and it was all home and hosed. That is after trav scooped the ball up off the ground from skurry’s pass 2m in front of him, clearly knocked it on but played on – then busted the tackle and popped the ball to a very grateful Alex Howard who was glad for the practice with his missus about to pop any minute too! Alex ran in under the sticks, Ev converted and the mighty Cru came up with the Big W, 31-29. A great game, guts effort from all involved. Special kudos to Big Marc who backed up straight from Roppongi this morning, the tux and dancing shoes is a great look mate! Cheers to the 2 Nagoya boys, Frodo Jase on a storming MVP performance on the wing and big Pat who was awesome up the middle all day. Good to see Andy Howard firing up and also perhaps Taka’s first game without being penalised! The ref was one of the best we’ve had too so no complaints there. Tokyo Crusaders 31 – 29 Goddems Tries: Shin, Travis 2, Alex H, Skurry Conv: Ev 3/5 Great win today lads and a big team effort to come from behind twice to score the win after the full time siren (much like France will do today to the Kiwis Travis!). Onto the main match today where we’ll be cheering on the Kiwis to choke as per normal. Only me and Alex are allowed 2 cups on our jerseys! See you at Paddy’s this avo. Next match TBA: Hope for one game before the Mac Cup on Nov 19.