Tokyo Crusaders RFC Tokyo Crusaders vs. Tanadanobaba No Side 94-0 by Frank Saffery We had flankers playing prop, flankers playing wing, flankers who were ill. There was a whole lot of flanking going on yesterday. Besides the fact we had players in roles in which they had no experience, we dominated in every aspect of the game. The scrums were punishing, so much so that after a little help by Tom ploughing the field with their prop’s face, they went uncontested. Every lineout, no matter whose ball it was, ended up with the same eventuality, the ball being tapped safely back on the Crusaders side. The backs’ game was impeccable with ball being freely passed from the back of every ruck to the eagerly waiting hands of the back seven, that used the full width of the pitch to slice up the opponents defense. This was highlighted brilliantly after Roy “The Gazelle” Yorke ran the best part of the field without any of the opponents coming close enough to lay a hand on him. Some would argue that this was due to Roy’s ability to step left and right and run like the wind, others may argue that this was due to the pungent smell emanating from the shirts of the Crusaders deterring our opponents. Things in the second half had almost a rugby league feel to them as try after try rained down on “No Side” so much so that our faithful kicker was having a very monotonous training session in hitting the sweet spot. While this was unfolding, Tooley could be found in the stands trying to hit the referee’s sweet spot with just as much vigor. As the final whistle blew every man wearing a Crusaders shirt could be proud that he had done his job and done it bloody well, so well it took several people and some conferring to even work out the score. The Crusaders then fielded a rather weakened drinking team, this was due to several players having made the decision to show at least some compassion for their other halves and to go home for some food and fornication. With the beers flowing in the pre-determined Izakaya we not so quietly reflected on the game, the female ref and anything else that was loosely related to rugby, sex or alcoholism. After steadily getting our money’s worth and the conversation well and truly in the gutter, it took a turn for the serious. “Hang on, why on earth didn’t we make a hundred points?!?” was the question posed by members of the drinking circle. After much deliberation on if we needed to give Trav some more beer before he kicked for the posts, or if Sean and his mighty boot needed a contract for Real Madrid we safely placed the blame in the hands of Gene. In matter of fact, it wasn’t in his hands at all as he spilled the ball just before the final whistle smack between the posts, something that we probably wont let him live down, well, at least not until we have had a couple of weeks and a few more beers. When our time was up and the guys had stopped trying to accost every female in the immediate vicinity the truly hardened drinkers went on shiftily into the night to continue what had been an all round amazing day. My personal man of the match would have to be Sean for possibly the best interception I have ever seen. On the way back to Shinjuku and the guys being a little boisterous on the train, a 19-year-old innocent, sweet Japanese girl was being quietly entertained to one side. After having some solid groundwork and foundations laid, it unfortunately was time to disembark. So as we all piled off the train we noticed that we were one member short, Sean had not only stayed on said train, he had quickly perked up from his illness induced slumber and changed seats to talk to the now raring to go 19 year old. If anything ever came of that encounter I’m sure we will never know. Player’s Men of the Match: 1st – Yorkie 2nd – Tom 3rd – Richard

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