Yokohama Canon Eagles VS Shizuoka Blue Revs
(Author: Azul, March 19, 2023)
The weather is turning spring-like in March, and from Friday 3 March until Friday 21 April, League One will be playing night matches. On this first night match (3 March), I went to Chichibunomiya Rugby Ground in Minato Ward, Tokyo, to watch the Yokohama Eagles vs Shizuoka Blue Revs match. Let’s have a look at the League One standings at the start of Section 10.
|2022-23||League One Order(Division 1)||2023.3.3|
|5||Tokyo Brave Lupas||4||5||0||21||64|
|8||Shizuoka Blue Revs||2||6||1||15||-1|
|9||Black Rams Tokyo||3||6||0||14||-21|
|11||Green Rockets Tokatsu||2||7||0||9||-158|
The Eagles, who play this day, are currently in fourth place, and the Blue Revs are currently in eighth place.
In the standings, you will notice that Blue Revs, who are in eighth place, have two wins, while Verblitz and Black Rams, who are in ninth and tenth place, have three wins but are higher in the standings. Blue Revs are an extremely tenacious team. They are a team with the ability to make the top teams suffer.
And the fans know it, with a crowd of 5,929 on the day.
Let’s take a look at the latest news from both teams.
First, let’s look at the Yokohama Canon Eagles, who are the home team on this day.
They are currently in fourth place and have secured a play-off place. Last season, they ran out of steam at the end of the season and missed out on the play-offs. This season, they have become more competitive and have played close matches against the top teams. However, there are still six games remaining, so we must not let up until the very end.
Today’s starting line-up is as follows.
|2||Yusuke Niwai||174cm||95kg||31||Japan 10cap|
|5||Cory Hill||196cm||117kg||31||Wales 32cap|
|9||Faf DEKLARK||172cm||88kg||31||South Africa 44cap|
|10||Yu Tamura||181cm||92kg||34||Japan 70cap|
|12||Yusuke Kajimura||181cm||95kg||27||Japan 2cap|
|13||Jesse Kriel||185cm||95kg||29||South Africa 58cap|
|15||Jumpei OGURA||172cm||80kg||30||Japan 4cap|
＊＊ Player to watch ＊＊
Faf DEKLARK. 172 cm, 88 kg, 31 years old. Position = SH. Caps for South Africa = 44. Commander of the South African national team, which was crowned world champions at RWC 2019. Continues to inspire the team with his combative style of play. He changes his passing path just before he gives the ball away, so opposing teams have to be prepared to defend against DEKLARK or they will get through his defensive net. He is a world-class player with a distinctive presence.
Next up are the visiting team of the day, the Shizuoka Blue Revs.
The Blue Revs are a strong team who were contenders for the top league title from 2014-2019. This season, they have dropped down to the bottom of the table, but have rarely suffered a complete defeat or a heavy defeat. They are always aggressive in their pursuit of victory and are a very worthwhile team for the team’s supporters to support.
Today’s starting line-up is as follows.
|Shizuoka Blue Revs|
|2||Takeshi HINO||172cm||100kg||32||Japan 5cap|
|4||Samuera ANISE||198cm||118kg||38||Japan 12cap|
|6||Malgene ILAUA||187cm||107kg||29||Japan 7cap|
|7||Richard GOH JONES||177cm||93kg||23|
|8||Kwagga SMITH||180cm||94kg||29||South Africa 29cap|
|11||Chikara ITO||173cm||80kg||32||Japan 1cap|
|12||Viliami TAHITUA||183cm||102kg||31||Tonga 9cap|
＊＊ Players to watch ＊＊
Kwagga SMITH. 180 cm, 94 kg, 29 years old. Position = FL, No. 8; South Africa Cap = 29. Despite being 180 cm tall, he continues to be a regular player in the South African national team’s FW players, who are all big men over 2 m tall. The League One teams know that SMITH is unstoppable one-on-one, so they have a special defensive system for him, but he still manages to break through.
So, let the match begin.
As for the match conditions on this day, the temperature was 9 degrees Celsius and there was almost no wind. The cold, I didn’t feel so much.
3 minutes into the first half:
Blue Revs had a PG opportunity from an opponent’s infringement in front of the enemy goal posts, 20 metres away. Blue Revs’ SH HALL scored this without incident to make the score 0-3.
15 minutes into the first half:
The Eagles advanced their position inside their opponents’ right 22m line on a penalty kick following an infringement by their opponents. Here, the Eagles gradually made progress with a series of attacks, mainly from the flanks, and finally No.8 Harasiri scored a try in the middle of the enemy in-goal on the right. The conversion goal after the try was also successful and the Eagles made the score 7-3.
29 minutes into the first half:
The Eagles had a PG opportunity in front of the enemy goal posts, 5 metres out, and Eagles SO Tamura converted to make the score 10-3.
35 minutes into the first half:
A Blue Revs infringement saw the Eagles advance deep into enemy territory on the right flank. Just beyond the enemy 22m line, from a my ball lineout on the right, a moderate mix of FW rushes and BK deployment saw the Eagles close in on the opposition in-goal. SH DEKLARK then stopped the opposition with a dummy pass and passed to SO TAMURA who looped around and scored a smooth, flowing try to the left centre without any pressure on TAMURA. The conversion goal after the try failed and the score, 15-3.
38 minutes into the first half:
Just as it looked like the first half was going to end, the Blue Revs made a big play to the delight of the entire crowd. Here, NO.8 SMITH, with the ball in his hands, overtook two of the opposition defenders and drove forward, dragging Eagles SH DEKLARK, who came in to tackle him, still further forward. He went on to drag three men into the in-goal to score a try.
The conversion goal after the try was missed, but the Blue Revs were seven points behind at 15-8 with this score at the end of the first half, and this big play by the Blue Revs’ SMITH, which was replayed on the electric board, made such a strong impression on the crowd that the whole place was in stitches for a few moments. It left a strong impression on the crowd.
The first half ended here, but the game was hotly contested and lived up to the expectations of the spectators who had gathered for this evening’s night-time game. What will the second half bring?
21 minutes into the second half:
For a while in the second half, the game was deadlocked and no goals were being scored. It was only after a change of players in the Eagles’ SH and SO that the game started to get going.
At the same time, the Blue Revs switched to Greene (number 22) at CTB, and the developing attack began to find its rhythm and break through the opposition’s defensive network. GREENE then developed to the left and FB FARIA scored a try in the in-goal in the middle left of the enemy line. The conversion goal after the try was also successful and the Blue Revs tied the score at 15-15.
31 minutes of the second half:
The game was leaning towards the Blue Revs at this time of the game. In attack, the Blue Revs started to push the Eagles forward, mainly through CTB GREENE, and in the scrums. Once the Blue Revs were pushed into their own in-goal, they regained the ball in a tight battle and connected with the ball from their own in-goal, and with an effective touch kick by SO IEMURA, they quickly advanced to the 22m line on the left side of the enemy line. Here, the Eagles secured the ball in their own lineout and attempted to connect and advance, but dropped the ball and committed a Not Release the ball infringement in a tight battle there, handing the Eagles the right to attack. From the penalty kick, Blue Revs No.8 Smith took advantage of a momentary lapse by his opponent and surged forward to score a try in the middle left corner. The conversion goal after the try was also successful and the Blue Revs finally succeeded in turning the tables. The score was 15-22.
Once again, Kwagga SMITH did the decisive work.
33 minutes into the second half:
Eagles, looking for a win at all costs, went on the offensive from the kick-off after the try, catching the Blue Revs’ kick for a positional recovery and counter-attacking from there. FB MARAIS (substitution), who received the ball, used his individual skills to get past four Blue Revs defenders, where he offloaded and passed to WTB TAKEZAWA, who scored a try in the left corner of the opposition’s in-goal. Eagles kicker OGURA succeeded with a PG from a difficult position in the left corner to level the scores at 22-22.
39 minutes of the second half:
The Eagles came out on the attack in the closing stages of the match, with both the FW and BK going all out in a maul, while the BK, led by FB MALLEY, tore through the opposition’s defensive network. The Eagles kicker was OGURA, who was slightly more comfortable kicking the PG than the previous conversion goal. So far this season, OGURA had enjoyed a 100% success rate in goal. However, the kick was unsuccessful as it deflected to the left of the goal post. Immediately afterwards, the Eagles’ HC SAWAKI’s bitter face appeared on the electronic board, and the stadium cheered.
In the end, the match ended with the score at that level, and was a draw. Note that the Man of the match was Blue Revs’ No.8 Kwagga Smith.
The fans in attendance applauded both teams for a good game. Thanks, players.
Stop the war.
Peace to Ukraine