A late report for a game that we’d like to forget.
For our last game in the Construction League, AFRC managed to have a good turnout, with 22-23 players showing on time at the Misato Station. Weather was good, the pitch (Asahi Shimbun ground) was as always isolated but in good condition. Under Graham’s supervision, we warmed up really seriously, getting into the game little by little. When the show started, AFRC put up a strong defense line, aggressive, maybe too aggressive sometimes because the ref gave Ando 5 or 6 penalties for trespassing the offside line or diving in the ruck. I sincerely think that he was a bit harsh with that and too sweet with keeping the ball in hands after a tackle, and I tried to discuss about it with him but it’s never easy… Anyway, after 5 or 6 minutes defending our line, Ando did get through and scored.
When we resumed, it was the same thing, Ando did get the ball, attacked and kept the ball on and on. We tried to defend as long as possible but on the third or fourth move, Ando was stronger and went again to the try line. As time went by, we could not keep Ando’s pace and we were falling apart quicker than before. First half was balanced, I’m sure that if we had managed to score this f**** try before half-time, game wouldn’t have been the same.
Indeed, Ando was a really strong team, properly fit and aggressive, with some good players, especially the number 10. They were always on the move and quick to change pace. On the other hand, we had our moments, stealing some balls in scrums, running on the wings, but it was not enough. So we ended up losing 41 to 0, with 30 points in the second half.
As we discussed with Graham, we need to refocus for our next goal, the Shuto League in autumn. Since we lack some team play ( and fitness, but that’s everybody’s own burden), we were thinking about meet one or two days before the game to practice formations and so on, maybe during evening training in Yotsuya or some place on Saturday. I know that some of you have families or other obligations but it would be just for 6 Fridays or Saturdays in 4 months (we have 6 games in the Shuto). Is it to much to ask to get some victories on Sundays?
In the meantime, that was the last game for a lot of players that will be missed: Robin, Mathieu Decaix, Alex Cordier, and Kenji. Thanks guys and see you soon.