Tokyo Crusaders vs. Dasewa RFC (5-22, L)
by Neil Maclean
frustrated the Crusaders for yet another year with a 22-5 win over us in hot and humid conditions at their Saitama ground.
Dasewa got the game underway, and were 5-0 up after only a few phases being played. The ball came loose from a ruck and fortuitously bounced into the hands of an opposition player and spread wide quickly
for the opening try. This unfortunately became a habit for us; poor ball retention
leading to the Dasewa backs picking up our loose ball with loads of space in front of them to run in some soft tries.
However, the Crusaders easily dominated possession and territory
, and we had some fantastic goal line defence that repelled the Dasewa forwards for phase after phase. Our game plan was to control play up front and set the pace through our much bigger forward pack, which worked well for long periods of time. Our undoing was in our open play
where too often we tried to throw an unnecessary final pass or we took a wrong option.
Although when our passes did stick, we managed some excellent long range runs, one of which ended in a great try for fullback Yorkie. It was some sweet revenge
to hear the last Dasewa defender mutter the word “hayai” as Roy blew past him
and went in under the sticks. It was a great way to end the half and close the gap to 10-5 to Dasewa.
That was as close as we were able to get though, as the second half got away from us
and we were unable to score any further points, while the opposition added two further tries and a conversion.
Despite the loss, we managed to play some decent rugby at times, particularly the forwards who protected our own ball very well at ruck time, and without doubt would have been dominant in the scrums had we not been forced to play uncontested scrums. There was some excellent running off short passes from rucks with Louis and Skurry leading the way
and making good meters every carry. They also took out man of the match and runner up m.o.t.m respectively. Roy and Neil
shared the spoils for third place spot.
We’ll all be looking forward to the return fixture
next season where we’ll be after Dasewa blood! 0-3 against a team we’re certainly capable of beating won’t sit well with any of us.
Now, on a final note, for those who were there that Sunday (you may even call it a fateful Sunday
), this game will always be remembered for another reason…a pair of reasons in fact. God bless you, Taku!
1. Louis Lafalealo
2. Paul Skurr
3. Roy Yorke / Neal Maclean