December 29th, Yanokuchi Ground
On a lovely Winter’s blue-sky day, Tooley turned out for the Shuto League Seniors’ end-of-year Festa for a fun game of rugby to see out the end of the year.
“60 guys, all over 35, were split into 2 groups and to start off, the roles of the Forwards and Backs were reversed for two 15-minute ‘halves’, with the teams split into ‘first half team’ and ‘second half team’. Forwards were playing as Backs, and Backs were playing as Forwards. Have you ever seen a prop playing Standoff, and heard the Backs barking orders from the scrum…? Well, the Forwards were focused on their new roles, but the Backs just couldn’t stay focused on their job in the forwards, and had to look at what the Forwards were doing out in the backline. … Bloody typical! Anyway, it was a complete hoot, and plenty of laughs ensued.
Next we reverted back to our own roles and played 2 x 30-minute ‘halves’, with the main problem being that we couldn’t tackle the red-panted players*, only hold them. This resulted in a few tries being scored by said players in red pants. At the end of the day the score was…who gave a sh.t…, and we all retired to the nearest bar, where I got 3rd prize in the lottery draw, a Stade Francais training top. Some then went home, and the hard-core drinkers ended up at some Kyabakura with Chinese girls to ‘keep us company’ for a while. After that, I can’t remember too much!”
*Editor’s note: To ensure that each of the geriatrics returned to his proper ward, each participant had to wear special colour pants
35-49 = white
50-59 = dark blue
60-69 = red
over 70 = yellow