63 – 12 Tokyo Crusaders RFC – All Jinjan RFC Referee: TADASHI SUZUKI


By Gavin Smith Last Sunday the mighty Tokyo Crusaders gathered for the start of their 25th anniversary season against All Jinjan RFC. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the weather was sweet, yeah… The Cru turned up early and in force with a full squad and plenty of subs. After dusting off the cobwebs with a longer organized training, the starting 15 took the field. All Jinjan kicked off the game just after 13:00, and it was looking quite evenly matched from the get-go. However, 10 minutes in, the opponent’s confidence was rocked by a huge well-timed but no-armed tackle from Dom, which was penalized by a Yellow Card. 15 minutes in, and with 14 men on the pitch, Travis danced about and worked his magic to get the first try of the day, successfully converted by Ev. The Cru kicked up a gear and started chasing that extra bonus point, and at 24min some silky passing saw Rob cross the line for a try. This was followed up with another one (33Min) by an on-form Skurry whose pre-season running showed to be paying off. At the 38th minute, Van used his pace + power and broke the line to score a classy try after having had a great half, This was followed up right at the end of the half (40min) by Pat Wheen, aka “The Human Wrecking Ball”, who decided he wanted a try, so swatted half the team away with ease on a half-pitch run. Evan was 5 for 5 on the conversion. Half time = 35 – 0 The Cru went out to the second half with some fresh legs and the goal of not conceding any points. After a neatly placed kick by Ev to start the second half a pumped-up Shannon tackled the receiver in the air and was sent to the bin for 10min. With the momentum of the first half, the Cru continued to press their opponents and scored 3 more Trys (Roy Yorke, Rob Galbraith & Travis) in the first 20min. After pushing at a fast pace for the first 60 minutes, tired minds started to show as we lost concentration and another Cru was sent to the Sin Bin (Pierre). All Jinjan took advantage of this and got their first try 60 minutes in. The Cru responded well with a quick push up the field to the opponent’s try line, with numbers on the right, Gavin went for glory and broke the line to get a try (62min). All Jinjan were still pumped from their 1st try, and with a clever change of direction on their kick-off they capitalized to score their second of the day (65min). The remaining 7 minutes of the game was an even stand-off and saw Dom get a 2nd yellow for a high tackle, resulting in a dreaded RED card. Apart from getting our first yellow cards in 3 seasons (4 in total !!),…overall, it was a good game and we showed a lot of team effort to keep the score to 63-12, considering we played about 38 minutes with 14 players, and 2 minutes with 13.

MVP: Jason Gall
3 points: Jason Gall
2 points: Macer (Van) Allen
1 point: Capt. Travis Dixon

The Team

Position 1st Half 2nd Half
Prop Pat Wheen Adam Birrs/Jason Gall
Hooker Gen Hirano Gen Hirano/Yusei Shimoda
Prop Jason Gall Shannon Ford
Lock Frank saffery Frank Saffery
Lock Tom Cocks/Sean Gibson Sean Gibson/Paul Skurr
Flanker Evan Kerr Seth Robson
Flanker Rob Galbraith Rob Galbraith/Koichi Takagaki
No. 8 Paul Skurr Paul Skurr/Rob Galbraith
Halfback Evan Hitchman Evan Hitchman
Firstfive Travis Dixon Travis Dixon/Matt Sparrow
Secondfive Matt Sparrow Gavin Smith
Centre Macer Allen Jason Gall/Dominique Adams
Wing Dominique Adams Dominque Adams/Pierre Sims
Wing Koki Yamana Koki Yamana/Rei Morimitsu
Fullback Roy Yorke Roy Yorke
Stewart Henwood was the Sideline Manager. Aiko Watanabe was the Safety Assisstant. Gareth Lim kitted up but didn’t take the field. Andy Howard and Ryuji Matsuzawa came out to support along with Seth’s Mum and a few of wags.

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