Tokyo – Sunday 16 October 2011**** ** ** Vol 11-019**** **** **** *MASTERING WELL A GAME FROM A to Z***** * * Score : AFRC 33 – 19 Gentle Giants ****

Score evolution : 5-0 (2′ – try Keisuke KINOSHITA – Conversion Matthieu DERYCKE), 14-0 (5′ – try Keisuke KINOSHITA – Conversion Matthieu DERYCKE) , 14-7 (20’ – Try Gentle Giants’ #11 – converted), 19-7 (30′ – try Matthieu DERYCKE – not converted and score at half time), 19-14 (56’ – try Gentle Giants’ #13 – converted), 26-14 (59’ – try Robbie WILLIAMSON – convertion Matthieu DERYCKE), 33-14 (65′ – Try Robbie WILLIAMSON – convertion Matthieu DERYCKE), 33-19 (64′ – Try Gentle Giants’ #14 – not converted and final score).****

Equipe AFRC : Matthieu ROSENBERG (cap), Kousuke YAMAMOTO, Jerome BLANCHET, Hirotaka KOSHI, Matthieu VIGNAUD, Masahiro SANO, Yoshiki TAKAUCHI, Vincent DAUTEL, Alban FIDRY, Matthieu DERYCKE, Xavier LERIN, Keisuke KINOSHITA, Philippe MIQUEL, Kazusaku KAMIYA, Yuji SATO. Remplacants : Kenjiro KONOHEN, Francois LAFAYE, Alfred MAMUN, Isco GANIGA, Toshiki SAKO, Robbie WILLIAMSON, Dan CONNOR, Managers: Bruno LEROY.**** ** ** On Sunday morning, few hours before *meeting the strongest team of our group *, Matthieu ROSENBERG and Bruno LEROY were not in a great mood since 5 of their front row players out of 7 were not able to come. To avoid the shame to request non contested scrums during the whole game, they had to name Jerome BLANCHET, a beginner as prop. And at the end of the game, we must confess that this great strapping young man surpassed all our expectations.****

The 2nd fact of yesterday’s game was the start of a *brand new partnership with the Tokyo Warriors rugby league team *thanks to the introduction of Dan CONNOR and Kosuke YAMAMOTO. The basis of this partnership was an exchange of players when needed. Yesterday, we got the pleasure to welcome in the team Keisuke KINOSHITA (2nd center), Yoshiki KITAUCHI (Flanker) and Toshiki SAKO (winger). Thank you to all you 3 to have showed up.****

And finally, we got the nice surprise to see Isco GANIGA to arrive on time, along with a Papua New Guinea fellow, Alfred MAMUN.****

Therefore, when it was time for the kick off, we were 22, with a majority of backs (13 players) for only 9 forwards.****

We knew that the Gentle giants’s strength came from their backs. And from the start, they showed their ability to handle well the ball. But, in front of them, The ALL FRANCE wear not bad as well and *at the 2min*, from a scrum on our 40 m line, Matthieu DERYCKE was clever enough to fix well his counterpart and bring the 1st center close to him, creating a great boulevard. He passed the ball in a perfect timing to Keisuke “Special Kei” KINOSHITA who *scored a try in the middle of the post*. The try was converted by Matthieu DERYCKE.****

*3 mns later*, it was a bis repetitat but this time, it was Xavier LERIN who went through the Gentle Giants’s defense, to fix the full back and passed the ball once again to Keisuke KINOSHITA who *scored his 2nd try*. As this one was converted, the *AFRC led already by 14 to nil.***** * * The game stabilized from this time. Both team managing to handle well or kicking the ball to gain ground until we reached the *2oth mn*. The Gentle Giants’ full back catches well a kick from our side, and kicked immediately a long up and under. Philippe MIQUEL left the ball rebound in front of him and was preceded by the 2nd center of the Gentle Giants who passed immediately to their left winger *for a try*. This one being converted, our opponents *came back at 7- 14*.****

But, if some months ago, the AFRC would have started to break up, this time, thanks to conquering forwards, they were able to drive on 10 meters or more, several mauls, putting pressure on their opponent. These efforts gave space to Matthieu DERYCKE, who kicked over the defense and was able to catch the ball in front of the full back to *score a try before half time*. Unfortunately, he missed the conversion in front of the posts. *But, at half time, the AFRC were leading by 19 to 7*.****

At half time, Bruno LEROY implemented some changes. Hiroyuki “Hiro” KOSHIwas replaced by Kenjiro, Philippe MIQUEL by Robbie WILLIAMSON, and Kazuyuki KAMIYA by Isco GANIGA.****

These substitutions gave some breath to everyone as the weather was so hot for a mid October game and the game stabilized with a kind of domination from the Gentle Giants. During this period, the AFRC lost 6 of their throws at line out, which pushed Bruno LEROY and Matthieu ROSENBERG to reorganize the line out to fix the problem.****

*At the 21mns of the 2nd half*, the Gentle Giants converted their domination by *a try from their 2nd centre* who went through our defense. The try was converted and the *gap was reduced to 5 pts in favor of the AFRC * and with 15 mms to go.****

Soon after, Alban FIDRY was injured at his knee on a tackle and the forwards who made great efforts needed to get new blood. Matthieu DERYCKEbecame scrum half and Alfred MAMUN became fly half, Xavier LERIN took over the position of Vincent DAUTEL as number 8 and Toshiki SAKO was our 1st center. Finally, Matthieu VIGNAUD was replaced by Francois LAFAYE.****

And once again,the AFRC found a hidden fighting spirit by striking immediately after the kick off. Yuji SATO addressed a long kick from his own 40 metros. The ball was well followed by Robbie WILLIAMSON who *scored a try *, which for sure killed the ambitions of our opponents. ****

*6 mns later*, Robbie WILLIAMSON counterattacked, delivered a short kick for himself over the defense to *score his 2nd try*. As both tries were converted by Matthieu DERYCKE, the score inflated to *33 to 14 and only 5 mms to go*.****

It was enough for the Gentle Giants to score a last try at the very last minute to close the game results on a superb victory for the AFRC.****

With this fantastic victory, AFRC is now leading the shuto league group A with 12 points – 3 victories – no defeat – 3 bonus points – 107 points for vs 44 points against. A victory on next Sunday will give us the top ranking for the 1st time ever in the history of the AFRC. ****

Some news from Alban FIDRY: He went to hospital this morning. No bone was broken and ligament were not torn as well. Only a strong hit on the internal ligament of his right knee. Alban will need probably 3 to 4 weeks rest before playing again. Odaiji ni.****

*ANALYSIS*:**** We got again a very good game from the AFRC. The *forward were present in the combat at mauls and rucks*. We saw several mauls who were driven over 10 meters.****

*The backs were excellent ball in hands* as was able to diversify the attacking patterns (up and under, kick for catch, short pass, dummy passes, skipped passes). We rediscovered a powerful Keisuke KINOSHITA. A Flamboyant Yuji SATO as full back, and a luxury joker with Robbie WILLIAMSON. Finally, we were impressed by the performance of Alfred MAMUN who crashed once or twice with powerful tackles his opponents but was very good as well ball in hands.****

Few tackles were misses in front of speedy backs. The 3rd row was here to support their backs.****

*The AFRC was able to strike immediately after the GENTLE GIANTS scored. What a great difference compared with last year when we met the GENTLE GIANTS and I wrote: We need to learn how to score when we dominate!!. Today, I can write we learnt the lesson.***** * * Finally, The good point is that now, thanks to the great recruiting work of Dan CONNOR, we have more than 30 players of high caliber ready to come and play for us. Resources are here and it pays.**** ** ** On the bad points, once again and again, too many faults at ruck and mauls (7), and once Hiroyuki KOSHI was substituted we lost 7 throws on our line outs.****

Better ball handling with only 6 knock-ons.**** ** ** *AFRC AWARD***** The ex Co was not able to name of single best player and it is justice since every player deserves this week’s award, but 4 players were nominated and got 1 point for the overall ranking: Jerome BLANCHET, Matthieu DERYCKE, Alban FIDRY and Yoshiki KITAUCHI. 2 forwards and 2 backs: a magnificent balance.**** **** ** ** For the *Iron man award*, Matthieu ROSENBERG is for the 1st time leading alone the most prestigious award.**** ** ** For the *best try scorer award*, having scored 2 more tries last week end, Robbie Williamson extends his leadership ahead with 5 tries for 2 games played.**** ** ** For the *best player award*, Thomas BYRNE and Xavier LERIN remained at the top of the chart with a total of 3 points**** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** *NEXT MEETINGS: ***** Thursday 620 October at 7PM: Training a Shin-Okubo**** Sunday 23rd October at 10:45AM – Shuto league game Vs Bakus.**** Sunday 23rd October at 4PM – Black Lion (Meguro) – Rugby World Cup finale France Vs New Zealand, Live**** Thursday 27th October at 7PM: Training a Shin-Okubo**** ** ** More news on our web site:**** ** ** ** ** Bruno**** ** ** ** **

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