Match Report: YCAC v Kitakami played on Sun Oct 26th
Report by: Simon Ryan | Photos by Kyoko Obayashi
With three Top Club League matches scheduled on a sunny day at YCAC there was bound to be action and drama aplenty, and so it proved.
First-up, YCAC had an 11:45am matchup with Kitakami – with YCAC sitting bottom of the table and Kitakami one spot above there was a mid season wooden spoon at stake for the loser and a leg-up for the victor.
Things started well enough with a quick try and a 5-0 lead, it was shaping to be an easy day on the hill for the boys in blue. Not to be however, as the oppo rallied to lead 13-5 at the break. Five minutes into the second half they extended their lead 20-5. Things began to look grim when 3 minutes later a YCAC prop was sent to the bin..it was at this point that Rich Freeman(YCAC member, Englishman, and media guru on all things rugby related in Japan), having arrived ten minutes earlier as a spectator, decided the game was a forgone conclusion, he turned his back on his own club team and waddled off mumbling something like “bunch of losers are not worth the ink from my pinkie-like pen”. Does Rich leave early from all matches he attends? That may explain a few things..anyway, no poms were on the pitch either so that left the air very fresh.
With 22 minutes to the finish line, the 14 blue tortoises on the pitch sensed that the Kitakami hares were about to have a nap in the shade…or perhaps the steroid in the halftime water bottles just kicked-in…or maybe it was the cooling effect of the cloud cover moving over the hot sun. Whatever it was, the unfit-tired-beaten-looking bunch in blue shirts suddenly transformed into incredible blue hulks and turned the match on its head. They bullied and bashed their way to scoring 37 unanswered points. Even the ref couldn’t halt the blue wave as he sent yet another YCAC player to the bin.
Kitakami awoke to score the last try but too little too late as YCAC ran out victors in a highly entertaining match 42-27.
Post-match, Kitakami were a lovely bunch of blokes and very chatty about the match. But not even a YCAC hosted function of beers and curry could help them(or us) understand what had transpired on the park as they piled onto their bus for the eight hour journey back to Iwate. Perhaps that same journey overnight before the match may partially explain something…that’s what Rich might say if he saw the game.
PS. A first win for the season and a four try bonus point means YCAC move from 9th to 7th on the log. See table and results at this link:
PS2: The drama/comedy, or near tragedy, occurred in the second match of the day when a burly Hokkaido BB’s prop brushed the goalpost and the top 3m of steel upright came crashing down, narrowly avoiding the ref, Sharks players..and a possible lawsuit.