RUGBY JERSEY -2022-23 National University Rugby Championship Final

Teikyo University vs Waseda University

(Author: Azul, January 29, 2023)

The National University Rugby Championship has finally reached its final. So far, only two schools have survived. Teikyo University, last season’s champions, and Waseda University, who lost in the quarter-finals last season. Coincidentally, both schools belong to the Kanto University Rugby Rivalry Group, and this season was the second time they faced each other in an official match.

The last time the teams met was on 7 November, when the final score was 49-17, a complete victory for Teikyo University in terms of content.

Waseda University, having been completely defeated in the FW game, could hardly attack and lost to Teikyo University with a score difference of more than 30 points.

Two months later, Waseda University reached the final of the University Championship after winning close matches against teams with stronger FW than themselves, Toyo University, Meiji University and Kyoto Sangyo University. Will Waseda University be able to humiliate Teikyo University in this day’s match?

Let me now introduce you to the latest news from both teams.

First, an update on Teikyo University.

Teikyo University started the University Championship with a 50-0 win over Doshisha University in their first match. In the semi-finals, they faced Tsukuba University, and although they conceded a try to Tsukuba University in the first half of the match, they were able to keep the score one-sided after that, with the final score of 71-5, a record-breaking victory in the history of the University Championships.

Teikyo University’s opponents in the final, Waseda University, are expected to attack in the same way as Tsukuba University, so Teikyo University’s players must be getting a feel for how to respond.

Here is the Teikyo University starting line-up for the day.

Teikyo University 
1Shota TAKAI171cm112kg22 
2Hayate ERA171cm100kg21U-18 JAPAN
3Taro UESUGI176cm113kg20 
4Takuma MOTOHASHI194cm116kg20 
5Masahiro ERIGUCHI186cm108kg22 
6Keito AOKI187cm110kg20 
7Akito OKUI177cm103kg21U-18 JAPAN
8Shuto NOBUHARA182cm100kg20U-18 JAPAN
9Kumusu LEE174cm80kg20 
10Mikiya TAKAMOTO172cm82kg21U-18 JAPAN
11Tomu TAKAMOTO182cm88kg21U-18 JAPAN
12Chihiro MATSUYAMA173cm88kg21U-18 JAPAN
13Kanji FUTAMURA180cm88kg21U-18 JAPAN
14Shinya KOMURA180cm92kg20 
15Taiki YAMAGUCHI176cm83kg21 

Teikyo University has been a constant member of the team since the University Championship except for FB TANINAKA, who was injured in the semi-final and had to sit out the match.

** Player to watch **

(Player on the right in the photo is TAKAI)

Shota TAKAI. 171 cm, 105 kg, 22 years old. Position = prop. Graduated from Jyosho Gakuen High School. Supports the scrum of Teikyo University, which boasts the No.1 student rank. Not only does he push in the scrum, but he is also a fast 50 m runner with a speed of 6.7 seconds. The front row of the scrum is supported by a giant of a man weighing over 100 kg, who can run freely and is a threat to the opposing team.

Next, an update on Waseda University.

Since entering the University Championships, Waseda University has won a series of games against opponents boasting powerful FWs. However, it is not possible to strengthen the scrum all at once in a short period of time, so Waseda University’s basic strategy for the Teikyo University are as follows.

(1) Develop the ability to withstand being pushed in the scrum to the extent that they do not collapse.

(2) Compete and win in a tight battle.

(3) Use the ground widely and launch a series of development attacks.

Waseda University’s traditional style of play is development rugby, but in the semi-finals, Tsukuba University used the same tactics, but suffered a heavy defeat when their defence was broken down. Waseda University’s leaders saw this, so it is thought that they will add some kind of innovation.

Waseda University’s starting line-up on the day was as follows.

Waseda University 
1Shota IMOTO165cm98kg22 
2Kenji SATO177cm108kg20 
3Shotaro KAMEYAMA176cm115kg20 
4Tomoki MAEDA179cm103kg22 
5Daiki IKEMOTO186cm105kg20 
6Masahiko SAGARA180cm99kg21 
7Bunsuke KURITA183cm110kg19 
8Jingo MURATA185m102kg20 
9Masanori MIYAO165m70kg20 
10Daisuke ITO179cm85kg21U18 Japan
11Reo MATSUSHITA183cm93kg21 
12Ko YOSHIMURA175cm84kg22 
13Soma OKAZAKI177cm89kg21 
14Eito MAKI175cm88kg22U18 Japan
15Satoshi KOIZUMI178cm86kg22 

** Player to watch **.

Ko YOSHIMURA. 175 cm, 84 kg, 22 years old. He is a graduate of Higashi Fukuoka High School. In the semi-final, YOSHIMURA scored a PG in a close game against Kyoto Sangyo University, which boasts a strong FW, and was able to win because of his ability to keep the game close. In the final against Teikyo University, it is extremely difficult to score a try against the staunchly defensive Teikyo University, but it is possible to induce infringements by the opposition when deep in enemy territory. YOSHIMURA will need to play a vital role if Waseda are to defeat the reigning university champions, Teikyo University.

Let’s kick off the final match.

2 minutes into the first half:

Waseda University drops the ball just after the kick-off. This allowed Teikyo University to attack deep into enemy territory at once. As the game was just getting underway, Waseda’s defenders had plenty of strength, but Teikyo University did not miss this great scoring opportunity. Teikyo University attacked down the right flank from a series of attacks, with SO Takamoto using his individual skills to fend off four or five men and score the first try in the middle on the right. He also scored the conversion goal himself after the try, making the score 7-0 to Teikyo.

11 minutes into the first half:

Waseda University again were crossed their own 22m line and were attacked by Teikyo University, but they managed to escape the difficulty by winning the ball back in front of goal.

After a brief scramble for the ball, Teikyo committed an infringement and were finally able to penetrate deep into enemy territory. This led to a scrum, but Teikyo University’s scrum was so strong that Waseda University had to re-group several times. Waseda University managed to hold on to this own ball scrum and deployed the ball. Waseda’s first attack saw CTB OKAZAKI make a gain, which led to a tight battle, from where the second attack took place, SO ITO received the ball and drew some opponents to him, WTB MAKI ran in from the opposite side, broke through Teikyo University’s defence and scored a try right under their goal posts. He scored an important try. The conversion goal after the try was also successful and Waseda University tied the score 7-7.

17 minutes into the first half:

After the try, Teikyo University kicked off and again Waseda missed a catch, allowing Teikyo to launch a series of attacks deep into enemy territory. Teikyo University deployed the ball to the left and as they attempted to make further progress, Waseda University’s WTB MAKI made a strong tackle, causing Teikyo University to drop the ball unexpectedly. Waseda University’s SO ITO picked up the ball and kicked it deep into enemy territory. The Teikyo University BK ran back to secure the ball and tried to kick it out, but Waseda University lock MAEDA charged and the ball rolled into the Teikyo University in-goal, but Teikyo University managed to hold the ball and escape the danger.

Teikyo University then again attacked into Waseda’s territory, but Teikyo University committed an offside infringement here, giving Waseda University a chance to take the ball deep into enemy territory and have a lineout of their own.

Waseda University showed the sign play they had been preparing for at this point. From the lineout on the right side, the ball was spread to the left and passed from the hooker to SO ITO, who threw a long pass to WTB MATSUSHITA, who ran to the left edge of the lineout and scored a try in the left corner of the enemy in-goal. The conversion goal after the try failed. The score was 7-12 to Waseda University. The crowd cheered loudly, and it was only at this time that it became clear that Waseda University had a large number of fans.

22 minutes into the first half:

From the kick-off immediately after Waseda University’s try, Teikyo University continued to attack in the Waseda camp. Occasionally, they regained the ball densely and tried to kick their way into the opposition’s territory, but as a result, Teikyo University gradually made progress in Waseda’s ranks. Once Teikyo University crossed the enemy 22m line, they let their breakthrough FW players have the ball and approached the opponents’ in-goal. Finally, flanker AOKI leapt over the Waseda defenders just below the goal posts to score a try. The conversion goal after the try was also successful, making the score 14-12 and Teikyo University took the lead again.

27 minutes into the first half:

In a scrum in the centre of the ground, Waseda University were infringed for collapsing the scrum. Here, Teikyo University’s SO TAKAMOTO advanced his side deep into the opposition 22m line from the PG. From here, from a lineout on their own ball, Teikyo University moved to the left and No.8 NOBUHARA easily slipped in the ball and scored a try right under the goal posts. The conversion goal after the try was also successful, making the score 21-12.

40 minutes into first half:

From the earlier try, Waseda University held firm and did not allow Teikyo University to score any more points until the end of the first half. Waseda University came close on several occasions, but their decisive passes were blocked by Teikyo University’s defense.

Waseda University continued to attack into enemy territory, but a high punt upfield was contested and the ball was picked up by Teikyo University. From deep in their own half, Teikyo University went down the left flank and SH LEE connected with WTB TAKAMOTO, who then ran past the Waseda defenders and scored a try in the left corner of the enemy’s in-goal.

The conversion goal after the try was also successful and Teikyo University ended the first half with a score of 28-12, 16 points ahead of Waseda University.

At the end of the first half, Teikyo University had a big lead and were in control of the flow. However, Waseda University also put on a show on several occasions in the first half, and even managed to turn the tables once. Can Waseda get back into the game in the second half? Or will Teikyo University crush Waseda University as they did against Tsukuba University in the semi-finals?

The start of the second half.

3 minutes into the second half:

Early in the second half, Waseda University opted for a PG from a Teikyo University not-release-the-ball infringement slightly to the left of the enemy 10m line. This was a difficult position, more than 40 metres from the goal posts. Normally, at this point difference, the team would have opted for a penalty kick and gone for a try from a lineout deep in enemy territory. However, taking into account Teikyo University’s defensive performance in the first half, it was probably agreed within the team that they would go for a PG score if they were infringed, in enemy territory.

CTB YOSHIMURA succeeded in this, making the score 28-15.

6 minutes into the second half.

Around this time, Teikyo University players began to gradually overwhelm Waseda University in one-on-one contact play. Once Teikyo University entered enemy territory, each player made an advance and then made a series of attacks connecting passes to the next player. In response, Waseda University’s defence could no longer keep up and finally Teikyo University prop UESUGI scored a try in the middle on the right side in-goal area. The conversion goal after the try failed. The score was 33-15.

8 minutes into the second half:.

Immediately after this try, Waseda University made a change of players and positions.

FB KOIZUMI replaced by NONAKA.

NONAKA moved to SO and SO ITO changed position to FB.

This formation was adopted to strengthen Waseda University’s attack after entering the University Championship. Teikyo University naturally knows this tactic in advance, so the focus will be on how they respond.

11 minutes into the second half:

The game resumes with Waseda University kicking off after a try. Waseda University knocked on and it was Teikyo University ball near the 10m line in the Teikyo University camp and Teikyo University developed from there and in the third attack, the ball was passed to SO TAKAMOTO. From there, Takamoto lifted a short punt and caught it himself. From there, he made a personal move with a pass dummy and other individual skills, and went all the way forward to score a try right under the goal posts. He also scored the conversion goal after the try himself, making the score 40-15 to Teikyo University.

18 minutes into the second half:

Teikyo University’s offensive and defensive pressure began to overwhelm Waseda University at this time.

At the set piece scrum, Teikyo University pushed in so hard that Waseda University could not get the ball out properly. Eventually, Waseda University managed to get the ball out, but when the ball was released, Teikyo University’s FL OKUI went to catch Waseda University’s SH MIYAO, where the pass was intercepted and Teikyo University’s OKUI scored a try in the middle right of the enemy in-goal. The conversion goal after the try was also successful, making the score 47-15.

Teikyo University scored four more tries in the 24th, 30th, 35th and 40th minutes of the second half to take the score to 73 points, better than Tsukuba University in the semi-final.

In contrast, Waseda University scored one try in the 39th minute of the second half by WTB MAKI, who intercepted a Teikyo University pass in front of his own in-goal, but MAKI’s try was not a systematic attempt to break down the opposition, and there was no smile on his face after the try. However, Maki proved to be one of the fastest WTB of his generation.

The final score of the University Championship final was 73-20, with Teikyo University breaking the record for most points scored in a final.

The strength of Teikyo University this season showed a difference in strength, as if a team of university students and a team of professionals were playing against each other. The university champions, Teikyo University, have seen favourable conditions, with many high school students with excellent qualities joining the team every year. However, Meiji University and other universities with similarly talented material coming in seem to have a difference in terms of player development in that they are completely outclassed by Teikyo University. It is thought that the development of Japanese rugby will lead to the future development of Japanese rugby if universities other than Teikyo University compete with Teikyo University in friendly rivalry.

** Jersey collection 71 **

2007 Rugby France replica jersey, second jersey from the 2007 RWC. Sold on Yahoo Auctions for ¥7,200. It is a new used item. If possible, I wanted to bid less than 4,000 yen, but the price went up due to a bidding war with other bidders. However, the market price of rugby jerseys has been rising recently, and jerseys that were previously sold for around 3,000 yen are now more than twice as expensive. For the sellers, this is a pleasant phenomenon, but for the buyers, it’s a bit tough!

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