by Brendan Gallagher

Another season, another pivotal match vs All Jin Jan held at Komozawa Park, although this time under slightly different weather conditions. It was a cold, wet, and gloomy day but outside of the AJJ’s locker room, that’s where the gloom ended. The Crusaders sporting a strong side with an even deeper bench got off to a fast start, with the fearsome four letter French connection of Hugo and Nico scoring the first four duex tries. Sadly, the young Japanese/American/British? whipper snapper Ken scored a cheeky try to break the streak but fortunately pad the Cru’s lead just before heading into half up 19-0. To begin the 2nd half, the Cru returned to their fruitful familiar form with the French fellows finding two more fantastic tries forcing their fierce faces back upon the fraternal scoresheet.. fabulous! Alliteration aside, the assault was awe-inspiring. Quickly the Cru found themselves comfortably handling the AJJ side with Ken tacking on another try for himself as well as a brilliant individual effort by Matt Beasley. Details are a little fuzzy, but from recollection Matt chased down a breakaway runner, secured a tackle, got to his feet, stole the ball, broke free himself, passed to Jacob with immediate support, received the ball back, before proceeding to kick it over the defense, catching it on a bounce and running into the corner for an all time highlight reel try. It’s a shame it wasn’t captured on video because there would already be rugby tutorials crafted and millions of views of homage. The highlights didnt finish there. Brendan, who was battling an acute severe upper quadriceps contusion(Charley Horse), was given inspirational words by Cru #1 supporter Libby.to return to the pitch and score a try. And with the whole of the Cru in his heart, he did just that, even prematurely celebrating by raising his arms in the air before touching the ball to the ground. The AJJ made a modest comeback scoring 19 late points amid most of the Cru reserves but it was an excellent day overall, with lots of support, lots of game time for the bench, and an overall whooping of 52-19 to put the Cru one step closer to Shuto League Championship glory once again. The Aftermatch was rambunctious held at a local gyoza joint celebrated in concert with some of our friendly All France foes :)

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