Tokyo Crusaders pose after the 75-0 win over Gentle Giants Tokyo Crusaders vs. Gentle Giants RFC 75-0 by Tom Ball The third game of the Shuto season took us to Omiya (apparently if you had carried on up the road a few miles more and taken the fourth left, you could actually have seen the arse end of nowhere) for a run out against the Gentle Giants RUFC. Gentle maybe, Giants they were not. For the second week running, there was a distinct lack of a front row waiting the customary 15 minutes at the station, but after a quick lesson in hooking [stop it] and pushing, things were back on track. Leading into the game, both sides had registered one win each and for the first 25 minutes the game was a ‘contest’, as the Cru were only 2 tries up and not having it all their own way. As the half closed in, and with the forwards securing good ball from both scrums and lineouts, the backs were able to put in to practice some of their more flamboyant training-ground moves, much to the delight of the captain,………One for the memory bank!! At the break the game was all but over with the Cru 5 tries up. The second half was much of the same, more good ball and plenty of possession, Man-of-the-match Travis ‘the greased up deaf guy’ Dixon was able to pick holes in the defence, and with both forwards and backs picking good support lines, the tries started to mount up. As the half wore on things were getting a little heated, between both sides and also between the Australian contingent of the Cru……they are a strange breed. Some notable moments from the second half included Kei showing us his footballing skills with a lovely chip and chase and a score in the corner, Roy Yorke making some excellent breaks from fullback and Richard Williams showing us some of his new break dancing moves. A special mention for Evan Hitchman who had a great day with the boot, 10 from 11. In the forwards the return of big Mo was a welcomed sight, especially for the lads who would have been roped into playing front row, not so much for the 7 stone Japanese scrumhalf who ended up in his way! After the final whistle, there were the obligatory few words from the captains and referee, and a quick team photo. Then it was just the 4-hour hike back to the changing rooms and onto the fun-bus back to Omiya station for what I’m sure will become a permanent fixture…..DomaDoma, that is until DomaDoma upper management realize that taking a booking under ‘Henwood for 20’ isn’t such a money maker. “Yes, we will have 20 beers. Yes, I know we ordered the same just 5 minutes ago”. After a few beers and much discussion, talk turned to the highs and lows of the day/game. After much deliberation, it was decided that Melvin’s tackle was the highlight of the day, Frank Saffery’s tackle did come a close second, but it was decided that Melvin’s was bigger. With time in DomaDoma coming to an end, people headed home, however a few hardy drinkers carried on in search of more watery beer and delightful whiskey. Disco Stu ‘enlightened’ us youngsters on the Glory Days and life in the ‘Bubble’, and as we made our way home on the 22:23 from Omiya we entertained the masses with a tuneful rendition of the Righteous Brothers’ classic, ‘You’ve lost that loving feelin’…..I think they liked it. All in all a good day out and some decent rugby played, under bright blue skies in November…..can’t be bad. Player’s Men of the Match: 1 – Travis 2 – Yorkie 3 – Tom/Evan

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