We showed up with 11 AFRCers and 4 borrowed. The pitch was in magnificent condition which was a real pleasure to play on. Buwaku put their old old-boys on for the first half and their young, old-boys in the second half. Scrums were uncontested. 25 minute halves.
Our team was:
4 Matt V
5 Ibi-san (borrowed)
6 Kenji (borrowed)
8 Matt R (c)
14 Ishizaki (borrowed)
14 Yamagen (borrowed)
We kicked off with a fairly strong breeze behind us. It was immediately apparant that we were going to dominant. A pretty nice back move saw Jean-phi cut through the middle and put me over in the corner for the first try. With the wind behind us we were camped in their half most of the time. Kenji, the borrowed flanker did some strong runs and scored a pretty solid individual try. And soon after Takahara went in after a good forward run. A nice kick from our fullback for Jean-phi to gather put us close, after a few more passes big Matt V went over – rewarded for some good support play. Near the end of the half, on the 4th or 5th phase I went over in the corner, the ball going through lots of hands.
Maybe 27 – 0 half time
2nd half, the young old-boys, playing down wind, started strongly and scored an early try against us down the short side, showing pretty good ball skills and caught us off-gaurd a little. We replied pretty soon after with a well worked cut from a set play about 20m out putting Dan(gerous) in under the posts. The next 10 minutes involved a fair bit of scrappy play, some aimless kicking, knock-ons, some penalties. Eventually Florian went over with a scurrying dash at the line from about 10 meters out. Unfortunately Buwaku got the last word with a try from deep in their own half against the run of play.
Full time 39 – 10
In summary, it was difficult to gauge our perfomance because the opposition did not really test us physically or punish us for our mistakes. However they did put some pressure on our back line and forced a lot of errors. It was a very open game with a lot of passes being thrown aimlessly when we were put under pressure meaning we turned some balls over and/or lost a lot of ground. On defence we were solid – using sliding defence and calling our man. (Of course it helped that the opposition were old men and couldnt run so fast).
Jean-Phi and Dan were impressive in the centers. Florian made some good yards with the ball in hand.
Our forwards secured a lot of turnovers meaning we had a lot of possession, however sometimes delivery to the backs was a bit messy allowing them to put pressure on us. Line outs were not so good, but difficult in the windy conditions (acceptable).
Things to work on:
If the pass is not on, hold the ball and set up a ruck – which means we need quick support there to retain possession.
Backs – on up and unders (high kicks) when we are defending – loud and decisive call for the ball. Maybe we can do some of this at training. Remember, the guy running forward should be calling (and catching) the ball.
Forwards – im sure there is something to work on, I will leave that up to Matt.