Shuto League vs. Santama Leage
by Stewart Henwood
At 9:00am on a beautiful late-Autumn day,
the stadium at Inagi started to come to life. Those tasked with setting up the ground set to and turned it into a rugby stadium for the day. Players trickled in and the Old Boys’ teams started to warm up. Representing the Cru in the OB game was Tooley
, who also led the banana/gorilla haka before the kickoff. (don’t ask…) Also, our official waterboy for the match was Chris’s 6-year-old son ‘young Chris’
, who did a sterling job of keeping the oldies from dying of thirst. The first half was a bit of a grind in the forwards, but in the second half the backs started to cut loose and the points piled up in the favour of the Shuto League. One down, 2 more to go.
Around 12:30, the B Teams went at each other. Representing the Cru were none other than Skurry and Chris
, with Travis (injured, but typically with his boots in his bag) walking up and down the sideline giving directions. The teams weren’t that far apart until Skurry had 2 storming runs
with ball in hand, crossing the chalk for 2 tries. The opposition were never going to come back from that, and to put the cherry on top, Chris plucked a bounce from a cross-kick out of the air
and ran around his mark for a try under the posts at the final whistle. Shuto League; two down, 1 more to go.
Well, next up was the ‘big’ game, and after a speech from the NZ Embassy, it got underway, with the boys, showered and changed, watching from the stands. None of the Cru was represented in this game but we’ll have that sorted for next year
. Although, Tooley did appear on the pitch from time to time…..as waterboy. The match itself was a bit of a tussle with Santama coming back to even the scores 17-17 at the end. As drama would have it, the last play of the match ended in a penalty for Shuto
. The kicker stepped up and duly potted a long range (50m?) kick from out wide. The sideline went nuts and the Shuto League came away with 3 wins from 3 games
. A great day of rugby and a great feel-good ending.
Chris took the family home, Travis hobbled off to placate his better half, and Tooley and Paul sat through some boring speeches :) , but had a good time at the official aftermatch, where Chris was selected Man-of-the-match for his game by the oppostion
, and received a replica All Japan jersey. The Shuto group then headed off to their own private function, where some proceeded to get horribly drunk, or so it seemed.