Crusaders 26 – Kurumi 53
Although this game was billed as a friendly, there was plenty of excitement about this match vs Kurumi after several months covid-enforced cancellations. Due to a lack of numbers on the part of the opposition, the Cru reluctantly agreed to play a game of rugby tens, not fifteens.
This was understandably disadvantageous: scrumhalf Matt Sparrow was directing a backline that included the sizeable frames of Tami, Nico, and (good) Brett; the smaller, more mobile Kurumi backs were able to utilise the additional space out wide. Nevertheless, throughout the entire game, the forwards muscled up through the middle (as did the backs), with notably strong carries by the likes of Connor, Rinta, Aaron, and newcomer Kurt.
Game highlights include Brett breaking several tackles followed by a perfect draw-and-pass on their fullback so that Sparrow could drop the pill cold; Tami slicing through the defense like a hot knife through butter to score twice and pick up MVP honours; Tomo, potentially the only Cru player on the field better suited to tens than fifteens, with multiple try-saving tackles in a true man-of-the-match performance; and Benji announcing his return to the Cru with a strong, 45-second cameo off the pine after showing up 2 hours late.
All in all, it was a lovely Spring Sunday of rugby to dust off the boots, blow out the cobwebs, and prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Cup, the first round of which was against Kurumi… but more on that later.