Matt Tokyo Bay RFC by Rob Galbraith When the communications went out that the Cru would be doing a “double-header weekend” on the 14/15 June, there were a few eyebrows raised as to whether we’d be able to get the numbers for both games…more specifically for the Sunday game, which followed our annual “social fixture” against the Fevers. However, get the numbers we did, but it wasn’t particularly helped by the author of this report, who slept through his alarm and turned up just before half time… The Sunday fixture was against Tokyo Bay RFC, a team who’d reached out to us and about whom we didn’t know a great deal. We had a squad of 16, meaning total rugby and putting square pegs into round holes, whilst they had a squad of around 25 with youth very much on their side. Within the first 15 mins we were two tries down; the opposition seemed to love the quick tap and their style resembled a game of 7s at times. Seba managed to get a try back before half time – a neat individual effort, a side step and pirouette followed by a jinking run and chip-and-chase before touching down under the sticks (…or at least that’s how I pictured it – I was in the taxi at the time). The score was 7-15 at half time to Tokyo Bay and they rang the changes, including moving their No. 8, who’d been fairly effective, out to the wing. The second half started as the first had finished with a Cru try, Matt Foster barging over to narrow the gap to one point. The gap widened but with 8 minutes go it was an eight point game and all to play for. However, some poor defence by the Cru and the pace, fitness and skills of the Tokyo Bay backs in particular proved too much and the game ended 19-39 to Tokyo Bay. During the post match speeches, the Tokyo Bay management dropped in the fact that they’d also borrowed players from PSI – a semi-pro 7s outfit who regularly play against Top League 7s teams – and one such player was their number 8, who was a Tongan 7s international who had played at the Hong Kong 7s a few months previously. Thank you to Taka for being ever-present on the sidelines and best wishes for a speedy recovery to Paul Martingell, who came off injured with chest pains, later diagnosed as 2 fractured ribs. All in all, a great day and I hope the start of an annual fixture against Tokyo Bay. Difficult to really know how good Tokyo Bay are per se, but I believe a full-strength Cru side playing against Tokyo Bay/PSI would be a very competitive fixture and I look forward to that next season.

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