(Author: Azul, March 21, 2022)
On March 19, 2022, I went to Gion Stadium in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, this time to watch the game: Mitsubishi Dynaboars vs. the Hino Red Dolphins.
In Division 2, there are fewer games than in Division 1. There are six teams in the division, and they play each team in a home-and-away format, playing two games each, for a total of 10 games per season. After that, two games are played to determine the standings, and finally, one game is played as a replacement game for Division 1 and Division 3. Each team will play 13 games per year. The season is scheduled to end in late May.
The standings of Division 2 as of March 19 are shown in the table below.
|2||Hanazono Kintetsu Liners||5||2||0||26||216|
|3||Mie Honda HEAT||5||2||0||23||37|
|4||Hino Red Dolphins||3||4||0||16|
|5||Kamaishi Seawaves RFC||1||6||0||5|
|6||Mazda Skyactivs Hiroshima||0||7||0||0|
Sagamihara City is next to Hachioji City where I live, so it is slightly closer than going to Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium. (It still takes 90 minutes to get to the stadium, though.)
It has been almost a year since I had been to Sagamihara GION Stadium. This park is so big that it takes about 15 minutes walk after getting off the bus. However, when the weather is nice, it is a great place to come and play with the family because the scenery is beautiful.
Since it is the home of the Dynaboars, there were team-related tents lined up near the venue. The maximum capacity of Gion Stadium is 15,000. It is a medium-sized stadium.
Let me introduce the two teams that will play today.
First, let me introduce the Sagamihara Dynaboars, the home team.
The team was founded in 1971 and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. They have not won any championships since they were promoted to the top category of Japanese rugby a few years ago. However, the team’s strength over the past few years has been remarkable, year by year, and compared to two years ago, the team’s ability has steadily improved.
In Division 2, where the team currently belongs, they have gone undefeated for seven straight wins, and are expected to be promoted to Division 1 next season.
The team’s symbolic color is the same as that of its hometown, Sagamihara City.
Here is the starting member lineup for today’s match.
|2||Yoshimitsu Yasue||176cm||109kg||37||Japan 2cap|
|4||Makoto Daniel Linde||196cm||109kg||34|
|5||Jackson Hemopo||195cm||112kg||28||New Zealand 5cap|
Dynaboars players to watch: Kazuki Ishida
173 cm, 85 kg, 25 years old. Position: SO.
He plays SO, the command post of Dynaboars. At the beginning of the season, he was a reserve SO, but he was replaced by Colin Slade (NZ national team 21 cap) was injured in the season opener, he has been in command of the team in subsequent games. He has been able to control his unique spinning kicks and bring a good offensive and defensive rhythm to the team. He also has a high success rate in kicking goals that lead to points, and has now secured his position as an unshakable centerpiece of the team.
Next, let me introduce the visiting team, the Hino Red Dolphins.
Founded in 1950, this year marks the 71st anniversary of the founding of this traditional club. They were promoted to the top league in Like the Dynaboars, it is 2018 and The DD Cup will be awarded to the winning team.
Here is the Red Dolphins’ roster for today’s game
|3||Takuma Asahara||179cm||115kg||34||Japan 12cap|
|7||Tsuyoshi Murata||186m||101kg||33||Japan 7cap|
|8||Kyosuke Horie||183cm||106kg||31||Japan 3cap|
Red Dolphins player to watch: Augustin Pulu
180 cm, 95 kg. 32 years old. 2Cap for NZ. position. SH.
He is the ace player of the Red Dolphins’ offense and defense. Due to injury, he has been late to the game, starting on March 12. He is expected to start this season as a starter.
Here is a commentary on the match. Today’s kickoff was at 12:00.
As for today’s highlights, there are three games left in Division 2, and the Red Dolphins have no choice but to beat the top teams in order to finish in the top 3 on their own strength. The catalyst for this will be the team’s ace, SH Pulu, who returned to the team last week, and the rest of the team’s attacking power. The one thing the Red Dolphins currently lack is decisiveness, so let’s see if they can do it.
11 minutes into the first half: The Dynaboars started the game on the offensive, and after two missed scoring chances.
The Red Dolphins then deployed to the left from their own territory and dropped a pass. Then, Dynaboars CTB Little kicked it in, and when it rolled to the opponents’ in-goal, he held it himself for the try. The SO Ishida scored the conversion goal after the try. Dynaboars score 7-0. The team took the lead.
18 minutes into the first half: The Red Dolphins attacked into enemy territory and a Dynaboars player fouled a high tackle near the center of the 22-meter line. The infringement allowed the Red Dolphins to opt for the PG, which was scored by CTB Togo. The score was 7-3.
21 minutes into the first half: The Dynaboars won a lineout on their own ball near the 22-meter line on the right side of the enemy line. From there, they spread the ball out and went close to their opponent’s goal on the right flank. From there, the Dynaboars moved to the left and CTB Little threw a long pass to the left end. This was caught by left WTB Sola-Roland, and he scored a try in the left corner. The SO Ishida scored the conversion goal after the try to make the score 14-3 in favor of the Dynaboars.
First half 27 minutes: The Dynaboars dropped the ball when deploying from their own territory, and the Red Dolphins attacked there. However, Dynaboars SO Ishida picked up the ball and he took advantage of a gap in the enemy’s defense and made a big advance toward the back of the Red Dolphins defenders. The Dynaboars CTB Little followed up from the left flank and ran in alone, scoring his second try of the day in the left-center. A successful conversion goal after the try made the score 21-3, giving the Dynaboars an 18 points lead.
First half 29 minutes: Dynaboars scored a try in their own territory. From a ruck, when SH Oshima kicked the ball, the Red Dolphins lock Tuinona charged and was picked up by Red Dolphins SH Pulu, who ran down the left side of the field, past two Dynaboars defenders, and scored a try in the left corner. CTB Togo converted the try to make the score 21-10.
35 minutes into the first half: The Dynaboars surged forward in a series of attacks from near the halfway line. After a series of passes, Lock Hemopo made a huge gain on the left side of the field and was close to the goal line. The Dynaboards then attacked in rapid succession and expanded to the right, where WTB Sola-rorand received the ball at the right end and cut in through a gap in the enemy defense for his second goal of the day. He scored a try. The SO Ishida scored the conversion goal after the try to make the score 28-10 in favor of the Dynaboars.
The first half ended with this score.
Looking back on the first half, the Red Dolphins did not have many offensive moves or scoring patterns. The Red Dolphins were unable to attack the maul in front of the enemy goal, which had been a scoring pattern in the past, and the Dynaboars were able to block it. The Dynaboars defense was solid, in this case you can rephrase that the Dolphins’ attack ability was not enough.
The organizers announced that the attendance for today’s game was 1,767.
The stadium has a capacity of 15,000, so even if the Corona can only hold half of the crowd, we hope to get more than 3,000. Let’s all rugby fans get excited.
Then the second half started.
The Red Dolphins did not want to let the scoreline get any bigger, and they also wanted to score first in the second half. That desire showed itself, and the game went into a stalemate for a while. Until the 24th minute of the second half, the Red Dolphins were on the offensive from start to finish, keeping the game in their opponent’s territory. During that time, they made the chances of tries three times. However, each time, the TMO made a video decision and the tries were cancelled. The players of Dynaboars inserted their hands between ball and the ground and did not allow it to be grounded. This is quite a high level of defensive awareness on the part of the team. Is this a result of the training of the defense coaches?
24 minutes into the second half: But it was the Red Dolphins who scored first in the second half. They attacked relentlessly in enemy territory, finally drawing a foul from the Dynaboars and scoring a penalty try.
The score was now 28-17, and the Red Dolphins were within 11 points.
32 minutes into the second half: the Red Dolphins kicked the ball from their own territory and the Dynaboars caught it in the right corner, from where it was deployed to the left. WTB Kawakami received the ball on the left edge of the field, cut in and drove forward, passing three Red Dolphins defenders for a big gain. From the resulting tight pack, the Dynaboars’ FW players surged forward and prop Ishii, who had come on as a substitute, received the ball and scored a try in the middle on the left.
While the Red Dolphins took many attempts to score a try, the Dynaboards broke their opponents’ formation cleanly and scored a try.
The game then went to no side, and although the Red Dolphins showed their mettle in the second half and put up a good fight, the Dynaboars showed their high defensive standards. As rivals in the same division, the Red Dolphins will need to strengthen their team and move up to Division 1.
Stop the war.
Peace to Ukraine