RUGBY JERSEY – Kanto University Rugby Rivalry Group A :Teikyo University vs Keio University

(written by Azul, Decembers 5th, 2021)

This time (December 4th), I went to the Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium to watch the final game of the Kanto University Rugby Tournament, Teikyo University vs Keio University. Since it was already December, I went out in a completely cold-weather style, but it felt so warm that it was hard to believe. The temperature was about 13 degrees Celsius, but the north wind wasn’t blowing at all, so I didn’t feel cold as long as I stayed in the sun.

Let me start by introducing the two teams.

Keio University Rugby Club: The first rugby club in Japan, founded in 1899. It has won the National University Championship five times and the Japan Championship once.

Compared with Waseda University and Meiji University, which are the same traditional schools, the number of championships is small. In the case of Keio University Rugby Club, there is almost no preferential treatment in the entrance examination even if there is a recommendation entrance examination quota, so in order to join the club, you have to pass the entrance examination of Keio University, which is a prestigious university, so it is difficult for famous high school rugby players to enter. When this team becomes strong, it will be when the attached high school participates in the national tournament. The team’s uniform is a yellow and black striped jersey. Because of this color, they are commonly called the Tiger Army.

The style of play used to be the same as England’s, with high punts and forwards running in to win the ball. This was a very muddy style, as it was difficult to acquire promising high school rugby football players, so the forwards had to practice hard to build up their physical strength and catch up with the rival schools. In recent years, there has been an increase in open attacks by the backs. However, their strength is still inconsistent. The good times and the bad times are clear.

Teikyo University Rugby Club: This will be my third time watching a Teikyo University game this season. If they win this game, they will be the sole winner of Group A of the Kanto University Rivalry for the first time since 2017. In the case of Teikyo University’s rugby team, the university’s policy of using a large number of recommended admission slots makes it easier to acquire promising high school rugby football players compared to Keio University. It is the same environment for other private universities, but thanks to the recent 9 consecutive university championships, many promising high school players have come to Teikyo University. Teikyo University’s style of play is versatile, with a strong FW team and backs who have the ability to develop and make individual decisions.

Last year, Teikyo University lost a close game to Keio University. The Keio University team has already lost three times, but for Teikyo University, which is undefeated this season, Keio University will be a tricky opponent.

When I went to the Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, there were few spectators. I think this match is a pretty good card. Waseda University vs. Keio University last week was packed, but what is this difference? Compared to Waseda, Meiji, and Keio, Teikyo fans are still small.

The game started. One of Teikyo University’s concerns is that Hosoki, who was the main player in their dominant scrum victories over Waseda and Meiji, is injured this time. The first try was scored by lock Motohashi(Teikyo ), who broke through Keio defenses, and FB Nimura, who followed him, scored a try right under the goal post. The conversion gave Teikyo a 7-0 lead. This was only one minute after the start of the game. It looked like Teikyo University was going to win the game. But in the first half, Keio University started to make a show. In the fourth minute of the first half, as they had done in the previous game against Waseda University, they formed a maul from a lineout in front of the enemy goal line and skillfully moved the maul to score a try. The conversion goal was also successful, and the score was tied at 7-7.

In the 17th minute of the first half, Keio University struck again. Keio University again moves forward in front of the opponent’s goal line in a maul. This time, however, hooker Harada took the ball out from the tail end of the maul, flowed sideways, and passed two Teikyo defenders to score a try near the goal posts. The conversion goal was also successful, and Keio University took a 7-point lead at 7-14.

Then, in the 22nd minute of the first half, Keio University makes a hard tackle. Teikyo University was unable to get forward due to Keio University’s hard tackling, but after developing from near the 22m line on the left edge of enemy territory, prop Okuno easily slipped through and scored a try near the center of the goal. The conversion goal was also successful, making the score 14-14 in favor of Teikyo University.

It was a great game, with Keio University putting up a good fight.

In the 36th minute, the first half was about to end. right in front of the opponent’s goal, Teikyo University deployed the right side of the field, and CTB Shiwachi used his individual skills to get past three members of Keio’s defense, and went around the center of the goal post to score a try. The conversion goal was also successful, and Teikyo was up 21-14.

The first half ended with the score at 21-14. It was a spectacular game that defied expectations of an overwhelming victory for Teikyo. Keio’s driving maul was not broken, even though the Teikyo side had studied it beforehand. Will Keio University be able to keep the game close?

Then, the second half started. At the beginning of the second half, Teikyo University chose to play PG after inviting a foul by the opponent. Teikyo showed a cautious approach to the game, perhaps thinking that today’s game would be tense. The goal was successful and Teikyo led by 10 points, 24-14.

Next, 10 minutes into the second half. The forwards skillfully passed the ball to prop Okuno, who dodged Keio’s defense and pushed through to pass to lock Eriguchi for a try at the bottom of the goal post. The conversion goal was also scored, and the score was 31-14. The prop of Teikyo University runs very well and accelerates quickly when he gets through. This is one of Teikyo University’s strengths that other universities do not have.

At this point, Teikyo University seemed to have found a hole in Keio’s defense, and Teikyo University’s try rush began. Specifically, SO Takamoto moves around and displaces the opponent’s defense when developing, so Keio is unable to make a strong tackle from the front as in the first half. The result was a series of tries. It was not only Teikyo’s SO Takamoto, but also other players who were receiving passes, who responded by shifting their marks, showing the comprehensive ability of the Teikyo players to adapt.

Among the many tries scored in the second half, the try by Teikyo WTB Takamoto in the 59th minute amazed the entire crowd. It was an amazing run of over 80 meters by Takamoto.

In the end, Teikyo University scored 6 tries in the second half and scored 43 more points, making the final score 64-14, a difference of 50 points.

** Jerseys Collection 50 **

Replica jersey of the Western Samoa national team, probably made in the early 1990s. Made by Canterbury. Sold on Yahoo Auction for 8,000 yen.

The Samoan national team (formerly known as Western Samoa) dominated the 1991 and 1995 RWCs, finishing in the top eight in both. This jersey is a staple item among collectors, but it is hard to find, and I have lost three auctions in the past. The price is rather high for a used item, but in the end, I had a bidding war with a reseller, and the price went up from 2000 yen to 8000 yen. But I was happy to get this jersey because it was in good condition even though it was used.

RUGBY JERSEY – Kanto University Rugby Rivalry Group A : Meiji University vs Teikyo University

(written by Azul, November 23rd, 2021)

This time (November 20th), for the first time in a long time (since May), I went to the Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo to watch the Kanto University Rugby match between Meiji University and Teikyo University. First of all, let me introduce the profiles of both teams.

Meiji University Rugby Club: Founded in 1923. The Meiji University Rugby Club was founded in 1923, and is a traditional school of university rugby in Japan that will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary. It has won the University Championship 13 times and the Japan Championship once. In the current Japanese national rugby team, the Meiji University alumnus is Yuu Tamura.

Teikyo University Rugby Club: Founded in 1970. Compared to Meiji University, it is an emerging force. However, from 2010 to 2018, it set an unprecedented record of nine consecutive victories in the University Championship. In the current Japanese national team, Teikyo University alumni have produced as many as 10 players, including Shunsuke Asaoka, Yukio Morikawa, Atsushi Sakate, Kosuke Horikoshi, Daichi Akiyama, Kazuki Himeno, Yutaka Nagare, Rikiya Matsuda, Ryodo Nakamura, and Naohiro Kotaki.

Both teams are undefeated so far, and today’s match will be the de facto final of the Kanto University Rugby Rivalry Group A.

The weather that day was perfect for watching the rugby match. Tickets were sold out. RWC2019 has dramatically increased the number of rugby fans in Japan, but as for today’s match, I think the overwhelming majority are old-time rugby fans. This means that the age range of the audience is high.

Looking around the venue, nearly 70% of the spectators were Meiji University fans. Whenever Meiji has a chance, the crowd erupts in cheers. Actually, cheering at the top of one’s lungs is prohibited due to the new corona infection control measures, but they couldn’t help but cheer.

In the photo above, the person wearing the white and purple bordered jersey is a Meiji fan. And the person wearing the red jersey is a  Teikyo University fan. The weather has been warm so far this year, so we can enjoy watching the games in relatively light clothing.

Today, my seat was unusually reserved for the main stand side. There is a roof over my seat, so I don’t have to worry if it rains, but the sun doesn’t shine, so I feel cold when the north wind blows. I felt closer to the ground than I expected.

The game started at 14:00, and since both teams were undefeated and had strong FW players, it was difficult to score for a while after the game started. However, the Teikyo University team won the first scrum.

In the game against Waseda University on November 3, Teikyo University dominated the game from the beginning. However, Meiji University today seemed to have developed countermeasures against Teikyo University, and up to the 10th minute of the first half, except for the scrum, the teams were evenly matched. Even so, it was Teikyo University that scored first. In the 14th minute of the first half, WTB Tomu Takamoto caught a kick pass from SO Mikiya Takamoto and scored a try. The conversion kick was also successful, and Teikyo University took the lead at 0-7.

After the first try, Teikyo University controlled the ball 70% of the time and did not give Meiji University a chance. In the 27th minute of the first half, Teikyo University WTB Shirakuni counter-attacked a ball kicked by Meiji University, broke through the Meiji University defense, made a big gain, and finally passed the ball to prop Teruuchi who was following him to score a try right under the goal posts. It was amazing to see the prop playing in the front line of the FW team running so well. Not only Teruuchi, but all the players in the first row of the FW team run very well. This is the driving force behind the strength of this year’s Teikyo University team.

The first half ended with Teikyo in the lead, 0-14.

At the beginning of the season, I didn’t feel such a difference in strength, but I was surprised at how well the Teikyo University team started the season. What kind of practice do they have every day? What makes the Teikyo University team stand out from the other leading teams?

1) They are able to see their opponents well at the moment of contact, dodge their opponents’ tackles, and pass the ball to their teammates.

2) They dominate the scrum.

3) FW players, especially the first row, follow-up is accurate and long.

Then, the second half started. Can the Meiji University team get back on track?

The Meiji University team has a tendency to receive the momentum of their opponents in the first half and then regain it in the second half, and today’s game was no different. In the 5th minute of the second half, WTB Ishida cut in front of the goal and hooker Ohga scored a try. The conversion goal was also successful, making the score 7-14.

(Image: Ishida, Meiji WTB, taking damage as he approached the goal)

In the second half, Teikyo University miscalculated when their captain, prop Hosoki, left the field injured. He was the driving force behind Teikyo’s powerful scrum, and after his exit, the scrum between Teikyo and Meiji became almost even.

Since they could no longer maintain their advantage in the scrum, the match went back and forth in a heated back-and-forth battle. The Teikyo University team’s impact players, flanker Tongatama and WTB Tuinakauvadra, who were introduced in the second half, were not as prominent in the match. In other words, Meiji University’s players were on the same level as their opponents.

The game itself was heated, but neither team scored after that, and the match ended at 7-14. As a result, Teikyo University won the Kanto University Rugby league match Group A.

Teikyo University is now one step closer to the championship.

Today’s notable players

1) Teikyo University hooker Hayate Era – A player with excellent running ability, decision-making ability, and skills, who is vying for the team’s try-scoring title. He has a great sense of smell for tries, and I am looking forward to seeing him in the Japan national team training camp.

(The player with the number 2 is ERA.)

(2) Kippei Ishida, WTB, Meiji University. 167cm, 73kg, a small player with excellent speed and attacking sense. At Meiji University, he was given the role of libero in the back three, and his unconventional moves baffled the opposing team. At the Olympics, he played SH, and I personally think that he could make a very interesting attack if he becomes the SH for Japan. He is also a hard tackler.

** Jersey Collection 49 **

Replica of the Federation Francais de Rugby warm-up jersey, made by Adidas. Estimated to have been produced around 2015. I got it on e-bay for 4,000 yen (used) plus 2,000 yen for shipping, instead of the regular price of 8,000 yen. It’s a good, plain jersey, and I wear this jersey when I’m in the office for work. The only thing that shows the France team is the symbol on the chest. It’s simple, but it’s cool to see the blue color of the French national team.

RUGBY JERSEY – Kanto University Rugby Rivalry Group :      Waseda University  VS Teikyo University

(written by Azul, November 4th, 2021)

Today (November 3rd), I went to Komazawa Park Athletic Stadium in Tokyo to watch the Kanto University Rugby match between Waseda University and Teikyo University. Since this blog has many readers from overseas, I would like to explain about Japanese university rugby.

In the case of rugby in Japan, it can be roughly divided into the following categories

1. Working adult rugby (professional teams)

2. University rugby (amateur)

Under this, there is rugby for high school students and younger, but it is the two above that attract spectators and are mainly used for entertainment. In terms of ability, of course, the adult rugby team is higher. In the past, there was a time when the No. 1 working man’s team and the No. 1 university rugby team played for the Japanese championship. At that time, university rugby was the more popular team. However, at the first RWC in 1987, Japan’s rugby gradually lost its popularity as it showed the difference in its ability with the world’s strongest nations.

Later, in the 8th RWC 2015, after Japan showed that it could compete with the world, university rugby is regaining its former popularity.

This is why I went to watch domestic university rugby for the first time in a long time. The venue was Komazawa Park Athletic Stadium, where I watched a Top League game this spring.

In Japan, the new corona infection has finally subsided and people are now able to watch sports as usual. However, there are still some restrictions. The number of visitors is limited to about 50%. Spectators are required to wear masks. Loud cheering is prohibited.

Today’s game was scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. I arrived at the nearest station, Komazawa University, 30 minutes before the game started. There was a huge crowd for today’s match between two popular teams, more than for the Top League match we had in April. (Although in April, the Komazawa Stadium was limited to a maximum of 3,000 people due to the new Corona.) Later, I found out that the number of visitors for today’s game was over 10,000.

Before the game started, I stopped at a convenience store on the way to buy lunch, but the line was so long that it took me more than 10 minutes to buy it.

I would like to give a brief introduction of the two teams playing today.

First, the Waseda University Rugby Club. It is a popular team that divides the popularity of Japanese rugby into two along with Meiji University. The regular game held every year in early December at the old National Stadium has been packed many times. It is also a prestigious team that has produced many Japanese national rugby players. The club was founded in 1917, so it has a history of 104 years.

The team has won the University Championship 16 times. They have won the Japan Championship four times. The team has produced Shinnosuke Kakinaga, Naoto Saito, Shogo Nakano, and Ryohei Yamanaka as the current representatives of Japan. The team is characterized by “proximity, continuity, and development”. The team uses the entire ground for open attacks. The team’s jersey is a black and white dun pattern.

Next is the Teikyo University Rugby Club. Founded in 1970, they are a new team compared to traditional schools, and won nine consecutive University Championships from 2009 to 2017.

The team is characterized by a strong all-round style in both FW and BK. The team’s jersey is deep red. The team has produced 10 players to represent Japan, including Shunsuke Asaoka, Yukio Morikawa, Atsushi Sakate, Kosuke Horikoshi, Daichi Akiyama, Kazuki Himeno, Yutaka Nagare, Rikiya Matsuda, Ryodo Nakamura, and Naohiro Kotaki.

These two teams are both undefeated so far. This was an important match to fight for the championship of the Kanto Intercollegiate Tournament. Teikyo University was defeated by Waseda University in a practice match this summer, so they are hoping to make up for it in an official match.

In the first half, Teikyo overwhelmed Waseda at the point of contact. especially in the scrum. I was curious to know what kind of training they usually do to make such an overwhelming difference, since there should have been no difference in the practice games during this summer camp. While Teikyo’s defense was so strong that Waseda’s attack was cut off, Teikyo’s attack had a strong sense of connection among all players, and each player kept moving forward incessantly. At the end of the first half, Teikyo University leads by 9 points, 12-3. While Teikyo scored two tries, Waseda only scored a PG at the end of the first half. In the first half, in terms of content, Waseda was completely defeated.

I thought, “This is not good for Waseda,” but when I listened to the people around me, they said that they lost the first half last year, too. Now, will they be able to get back on track in the second half?

In the 46th minute of the second half, SH Hosoya scored a try and also scored a conversion goal to make it 12-10. Teikyo’s lead was only two points. , and the large crowd at the stadium was excited.

However, Teikyo introduced three international students as impact players. In the 60th minute, Mitieri scored a try in the right corner, and in the 65th minute, number 8 Nobuhara scored a try in the middle right corner.

In the 70th minute, FL Tongatama scored the third try of the second half to make it 27-10, and they also scored a conversion goal to make it 29-10, giving Teikyo a massive 19-point lead.

In the 73rd minute, after an open attack on the right side, FB Kawase of Waseda broke through and WTB Maki scored a try in the right middle to make it 29-15.

In the 73rd minute, again Waseda FB Kawase cut through the defense with his individual skills and scored a try near the goal posts. 29-22. Teikyo’s lead was only 7 points.

In the 80th minute, with one play left, Waseda came close to scoring a try, but Teikyo got the ball back and kicked it out to end the game. In the end, Teikyo University won the game in the end.

In today’s game, I was impressed with Teikyo’s performance as a team since the beginning of the season. However, at the same time, I was also impressed by the individual determination of Kawase, the FB of Waseda. I hope that he will improve his physical ability one more level and play an active role in the national team in the near future.

** Jersey Collection 47  **

The official replica jersey of the French national rugby team from 1998. The price when new was about 10,000 yen in Japan. The color is white, so it is a second jersey. NIKE product. Purchased at E-BAY for 1980 yen in Japanese yen. Brand new and unused. The reason why it is so cheap is because there is a faint stain on the lower part of the jersey. The seller is a sporting goods store, and because of this stain, the jersey became bad stock and was sold at a discount. Of course, I don’t care about it at all. The second jersey of the French national team is very rare, so it is a valuable item.

RUGBY JERSEY – Japan Brave Blossoms vs Australia Wallabies

(written by Azul, October 24th, 2021)

In early September, the Japan Rugby Union suddenly announced that the Japanese national rugby team would play a test match against the Australian Wallabies on October 23. Until then, the Japan national rugby team had been scheduled to play three matches this fall in November (Ireland, Portugal, and Scotland). For Japanese rugby fans, this was a sudden addition of one more match. And it was to be played in about a month’s time, prior to the three matches that had already been decided. The Australian national team is ranked third in the world and will be coming to Japan in top form, having won back-to-back matches against the RWC 2019 world champion, South Africa Springboks, just before the tournament. I was left with the impression that this was going to be an amazing event. When I looked at the venue of the match, it was the Showa Denko Dome (Oita Prefecture).

This was a troublesome situation. First of all, the distance is too far. At the time of the RWC 2019, I was able to get to the venue in about an hour even if I left my house in the afternoon, but in Oita City, I would have to prepare for a trip of at least one night and two days. The game started at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, so I checked flights and there were none available. Even if I left at 5:00 a.m. early on the day of the game by Shinkansen, I was scheduled to arrive just before the kickoff. I was in a bit of trouble. And what I finally chose was the following itinerary.

10/22 (Fri.) 9:50 p.m. departure from Tokyo Station – Sleeper Express Sunrise Izumo. 10/23 (Sat.) 6:05 a.m. arrival at Okayama (Okayama Prefecture).

10/23 (Sat) 6:50 a.m. Transfer to the Kyushu Shinkansen Mizuho 601 – Kokura (Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture) 8:11 a.m.

10/23 (Sat) 8:34 Transfer to JR Limited Express Ni-chirin Seagaia No.5 – Oita (Oita City, Oita Pref.) 10:03 Arrival

10/23 (Sat) Rent a car from Oita Station. Arrive at Showa Denko Stadium at 11:30.

     11:30 Arrive at Showa Denko Stadium, 11:50 Enter the stadium and watch the game. 15:30 Finish the game.

10/23 (Sat) Rented a car from Showa Denko Stadium and drove on the expressway to Oita Airport.

10/23 (Sat) ANA Flight 800 departed from Oita Airport at 18:15 and arrived at Haneda Airport at 19:50.

10/23 (Sat) Transfer from Tokyo Station to Hachioji-Minamino Station. Arrived home at 22:30.

The above itinerary is quite a hard schedule.

Even so, I had been looking forward to this day’s game from about a week before my departure.

Then, the day of departure. I finished my work around 8:40 p.m. and arrived at Tokyo Station around 9:00 p.m.

Unfortunately, it was raining that day. Moreover, the temperature was only 10 degrees Celsius, the same temperature as December. It was cold. Our train was due to arrive at 21:30, so I walked around Tokyo Station to get some dinner before then. However, there was one miscalculation here. Due to the new Corona, all the stores selling station lunches were closed at 21:00. I had nothing to eat, I was starving. I looked around and found that McDonald’s was selling takeout items. Here, I bought a Samurai Mac. Now then, I went to platform 9 for the Sunrise train.

Here it comes. The Sunrise. Actually, this train is said to be a favorite of train enthusiasts, and it’s very difficult to get a seat. As you can see in the photo, train fans were waiting for the train and taking commemorative photos, and I made a reservation in mid-September, but it seemed that everyone was hesitant to make a reservation because of the new Corona. I found out later from the announcement, but of course it was fully booked that day. I was lucky.

As you can see in the photo above, the train is a double-decker, and it’s so gorgeous that I couldn’t help but smile. Now, let’s go inside the train.

This train is a double-decker car, so there are stairs inside. This is not like a train, but more like a hotel. As for the grade of the rooms, there are about four different ranks.

Rank 1 – A sleeper single deluxe: Private rooms that are the envy of train enthusiasts. There are only a few rooms available, so it’s hard to get a reservation on weekends. However, the cost of a sleeping room is about 13,000 yen, which is about the same as a regular business hotel. That’s probably why it’s so popular.

Rank 2 – B sleeper single: This is the most common room available in private rooms. This is the type I booked. It’s hard for a 2-meter tall rugger man to sleep in, but it’s enough space for me, a 174cm tall man. The cost of a berth is about 7,500 yen.

I would have preferred a room on the second floor, but I was satisfied with the first floor. I’m looking forward to enjoying my first sleeper train trip.

Rank 3: B-Sleeper Solo: This is a private room, but the ceiling is slightly lower than that of Rank 2. It is also said to be about 1,000 yen cheaper.

Rank 4: General seating. There is a space for each person to lie down. There are curtains and head partitions between each person. There is no sleeper charge, so if you are a frequent user of this train, this seat is also available.

It took about seven hours from Tokyo to Himeji, but it was a comfortable trip. The original stop was Okayama Station, but there was an accident in Nagoya on the way, and the train was delayed for about 30 minutes, so I got off at Himeji Station, one stop ahead of the station, at 6:05 a.m. to connect to the Shinkansen.

I got off at Himeji Station, one stop before the Shinkansen, at 6:05 a.m. Since it was early in the morning, the convenience store in the station was closed. I wanted to have some kind of breakfast, but for some reason the ekiben shop was empty. Luckily, I bought an ekiben, and now I was ready to change trains.

Even though it was late October, the sun was shining after six o’clock. It was not as cold as Tokyo yesterday, but it was chilly in the early morning in Himeji. The Kyushu Shinkansen Mizuho 601 arrived at 6:29 a.m., right on time.

As expected, the Shinkansen is very fast. The Sunrise Izumo is also a limited express, so the average speed is 100km/h, but the Shinkansen runs at more than twice that speed, so it takes less than two hours from Himeji Station to Kokura Station in Kyushu.

We arrived at Kokura Station. I realized later that the Kyushu Shinkansen is connected to the mainland by an undersea tunnel, not a steel bridge. I didn’t know this until I took the Kyushu Shinkansen. And here is the last transfer train for the outward journey: the 8:34 JR Limited Express NICHIRIN Sea Gaia No. 5.

In the photo above, I couldn’t get a good shot of the front of the train, but the express Seagaia is a popular train among train enthusiasts for its robot-like face.

Even from the side, the train looks quite stern. We will arrive at Oita in 90 minutes. The express train “Sea Gaia” ran along the sea coast on the way to Oita, so I could enjoy the scenery of Beppu Bay. Before Corona, a hovercraft used to operate here. It was a sightseeing specialty of Beppu Bay, but it is no longer in service.

10/23 (Sat) 10:03 a.m. We finally arrived at Oita Station. When I arrived at the station, I saw many people wearing rugby jerseys. Not only tourists, but also local station staff and people in the tourism industry were wearing the uniforms of the Japanese national rugby team to liven up the event.

The Showa Denko Stadium in Oita City has been a joint effort of the public and private sectors as a tourism hub, as it hosted the quarterfinal matches of the RWC 2019. It would be great if the new corona infection finally dies down and this stadium can again attract a large number of spectators.

In the case of Showa Denko Stadium, it is the home of Oita Trinita of the J1 soccer league, and although there is no team in Kyushu that has designated this stadium as their home for Rugby League ONE, which will start in 2022, I hope they will make good use of it. Of all the stadiums I’ve seen this year, this one is about the same size as Ecopa Stadium in Shizuoka Prefecture, but the local city of Oita has a high sense of excitement about it.

From here, I rented a car from ORIX Rent-A-Car for 5,000 yen for 6 hours and headed for the stadium. Why did I rent a car?

1) Oita Station, Showa Denko Stadium, and Oita Airport are quite far away from each other.

2) There is a shuttle bus service, but it takes only two and a half hours from the end of the game until the plane leaves for home.

(3) It takes about an hour to get from the stadium to the airport, even if you drive on the highway.

(4) If I return to Oita Station from the stadium and then go to the airport, I doubt if I can board the plane.

So, I chose to rent a car as my transportation in Oita City. On the way back to Oita, there were about 600 supporters who came to Oita Airport, and most of them had taken tour buses, cabs, or rental cars prepared by the tour companies. In other words, if we took the shuttle bus to Oita Station and then went to Oita Airport, I would not be able to catch the 6:15 p.m. flight.

I arrived at Showa Denko Stadium in 30 minutes from Oita Station as planned. This stadium has plenty of parking space, but it’s a long way from there to the stadium. If you walk slowly, it will take you almost 30 minutes.

On a sunny day like today, it’s not a problem, but in bad weather, this distance is quite tough. The Showa Denko Stadium has a retractable dome, so you don’t have to worry about rain.

We finally arrived at the stadium two hours before kickoff, just like the RWC 2019, where they used to have satellite broadcasts of matches being played at other venues to keep things moving, but in today’s case, there was no such thing, so they invited local comedians and celebrities to the event.

Commemorative photo board

Past uniforms of the Japanese national team

Near the main entrance

I couldn’t wait to get inside the stadium myself. This stadium was built during the FIFA 2002 World Cup and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The stadium is so well maintained that it doesn’t feel like it’s been 20 years. I quickly went to the south stand to check my seat behind the goal. This time, my seat was the cheapest, Category 3, 1st hh row 137. I looked around to see where I was.

South Stand

Row hh means the first row. This was great. It’s a great position to take pictures. There is no obstacle in front of me.

Regarding today’s match, I checked the past data. The most recent time Japan played the Australian national team was on November 4, 2017. The venue was the Yokohama International Stadium (Nissan Stadium). The score of the match at that time was 63-30, a stunning victory for the Australian national team. Coincidentally, the Wallabies were ranked third in the world at that time, as they are now. In the case of the Wallabies, if you look at the players who played in this match, they had almost the entire first team. The faces of the national team can almost be said to be the members of RWC 2019.

Almost a year after this, on November 3, 2018, the All Blacks came to Japan and played a test match against the Japanese national team. The final score was 69-31, and the Japanese team at that time was also almost a regular member of the RWC 2019 squad. The All Blacks, however, were in the third class. Only a few members of this team played in the RWC 2019. There were quite a few players who were capped for the first time. To my recollection, more than five of them were first-time caps.

What we can see from the data of these two games is that the Japanese national team, up to this point, had a large gap in strength with the world’s strongest nations. This means that they rapidly gained strength over the next year or so. During this period, there was growing criticism of HC Joseph for his lack of results. It was widely believed that the team would not be able to advance to the final tournament.

Now, the time for the game to start is approaching and the seats in the stadium are filling up. According to the publicity, there were 17,004 spectators that day. The capacity of this stadium is 40,000, so it was almost 40% full. Because of the new Corona’s limited entry, only half of the tickets should have been sold, which means 80% of the tickets were sold.

This time the Wallabies were in almost as good a shape as they were the last time they played Japan. Depending on the outcome of this match, the next three matches in Europe will be decided. Although the Japanese team will be up against a higher-ranked opponent, I hope that they will do their best to win the match.

The national anthem of the Australian Wallabies (Advance Australia Fair).

Next, the national anthem (Kimigayo) of the Japanese national team was sung.

Then the kickoff. The Wallabies scored first in the 7th minute of the first half, when SO Cooper cut in from near the enemy 22-meter line and handed an off-load pass to WTB Tom Wright, who scored a try near the center of the goal. Cooper then converted to give the Wallabies a 0-7 lead.

Japan’s first score came in the 16th minute of the first half. Japan’s SO Matsuda scored a PG in the enemy line, and the Wallabies were behind by 4 points.

22 minutes into the first half. After a series of attacks by the Wallabies, the ball went right in front of the enemy’s goal, and FB Petaia scored a try. The Wallabies converted the try to take an 11-point lead at 3-14.

25 minutes into the first half. Japan national team SO Matsuda kick-passes to the right from the center of the enemy 22m line. WTB Lemeki catches the pass, passes it to another player, and scores a try in the right corner. Matsuda also converted the try, and Japan was behind by 2 points, 10-14.

32nd minute of the first half. In the 32nd minute of the first half, Japan SO Matsuda scored a PG in front of the opponent’s goal, 13-14.

In the last minute of the second half, Wallabies SO Cooper scored a PG to make it 13-17, and the first half ended with the Wallabies leading by 4 points.

The Wallabies led by 4 points at the end of the first half, but Japan made many mistakes in the set piece, especially in the lineout. They were also penalized for scrummaging at crucial moments. In addition, they were turned over more often than usual in dense battles at rucks.

Two minutes into the second half, the Wallabies scored a try from a lineout in front of the opposition goal, with prop Folau Fainga scoring in the right corner. The Wallabies lead by 9 points, 13-22.

Eight minutes into the second half, the Wallabies score another try. The Wallabies lead by 14 points, 13-27. The Wallabies lead by 14 points.

15 minutes into the second half, the Wallabies move wide to the left as the Japanese team moves into enemy territory. Japanese team CTB Nakamura intercepted a long pass to the outermost player. The conversion goal was scored by SO Tamura, who came on as a substitute, to bring Japan within 7 points at 20-27.

Nakamura’s try brought the game back from the Wallabies. Nakamura’s try was priceless. It was the most exciting moment of the day in the stadium.

33 minutes into the second half. Japan’s SO Tamura scored a PG from the center of the field, nearly 50 meters, to bring the score to 23-27. Only one more try is needed to turn the game around. Good luck, Japan!

78th minute. The Wallabies form a maul from a lineout in front of the opposition goal, and prop Alaalatoa pushes it in for a try.

The conversion goal failed, and the game ended. The Wallabies of Australia beat the Japanese national team.

Although the national team lost, I was thrilled to be able to enjoy my first test match in Japan since RWC 2019.

I was going back to Tokyo in the afterglow of the game. Thank you, Oita. I’ll be back soon. Next time, I want to relax in a hot spring.

On the way back, we rented a car and headed for Oita Airport. After about an hour of driving on the expressway, we finally arrived at the airport. According to the meter in the car, it was 64km from the stadium to the airport. Well, that’s what I call a trip, isn’t it? “It reminded me of Tetsuya Takeda’s song, “I’ve come a long way.

At 6:00 p.m., it was indeed getting dark. I had some ramen noodles for dinner inside the airport, went through the ticket gate, and finally went to the boarding gate. It’s been two years since I’ve been on an airplane due to the new Corona.

Now I’m going back to Tokyo. After this, I want to go to Europe to follow the Japan national team, but I’m going to be patient and cheer on the team on TV. Good luck, Japan national team!

RUGBY JERSEY-Jersey Collection1~32

I excerpted an article of the jersey collection carried up to now and made a list this time. It was this article that readers had the interest relatively by the message that I received from them in the past. There are more than 30 jerseys I can’t finish introducing yet, but while this plan continues, in sequence, I’d like to introduce.

I got a ticket for pep rallu game of rugby Japan national team, so next week I will go to EKOPA Stadium in Shizuoka again.


ジャージ コレクション1:ニュージーランド オールブラックス


  • 製造メーカー:カンタベリー
  • 備考:第1回RWCを制覇して、日本に来日した直後に販売されたので、ヒット商品。たぶん日本で販売されたラグビージャージの中では一番売れたのではないでしょうか。
  • 入手方法~発売時の価格は、記憶では1万円を少し割るくらい。




ジャージ コレクション2:オーストラリア代表(ワラビーズ)


  • 製造メーカー:カンタベリー
  • 備考:第2回RWCを制覇したのは、ワラビーズ(オーストラリア)。




  • 入手方法~まだヤフオク等で、時々見かけます。さすがに未使用の新古品は、年間1回くらいしか見つからないですが。


ジャージ コレクション3:アイルランド 

半袖 真ん中に、スポンサーマークが入っているので、W杯仕様の ジャージでは、 ありません。ヤフオクで新品で、2,500円程度でゲット。    

ジャージ コレクション4:(スコットランド)


ジャージ コレクション5(サモア):


ジャージ コレクション5⓶:ニュージーランド試合着。


ジャージ コレクション6:南アフリカ


ジャージ コレクション7:カナダ


ジャージ コレクション8:RWC2015 イングランド大会記念ジャージ。WEBB ERRIS CUP製品。3,900円。新品で購入。現地で勢いで買っちゃうと、軽く10,000円をこえてしまうので、やはり、事後で購入するのが、コレクターにはbetter.

ジャージコレクション 9:アルゼンチン。

この国のジャージ(私の求める襟付き、長袖)が、なかなか手に入らない。ヤフオクで苦節3年、ようやく手に入りました。なぜか、「アメリカ ラグビー」で検索したら出てきました。しかも、800円。古着屋の人は、この価値わからないみたい。個人的には、当時、30,000円出しても欲しいと思っていました。

ジャージコレクション 10:ウェールズ。


ジャージコレクション 11 イングランド

このジャージは、記録を調べてみたところ、1995年第3回W杯のもの。COTTON TRADERS社製品。1991年の第2回W杯時にほぼ同様のデザインのジャージを新品で購入、当時は、確か1万円を割っていたと記憶。その後、引っ越しの際に手放しました。そして、2年前にヤフオクでこのジャージ(中古)を発見。懐かしかったですね。「イングランド ジャージ」とは言わずに、「ラグビー W杯 ジャージ」で出品されていました。当初は、2,900円で出品されていましたが、買い手が誰もつかず、チエックをつけていた私に、次々に値下げの連絡が、最後には、1,000円を割ったので、購入しました。なぜか、イングランド製品は、中古相場は安いです。おそらく、色が白だから、経年劣化が目立つからだと思います。(あと、この年代のイングランドのジャージが新古品で出回っているのを、見たことがない。ウエールズは、なぜか出回っているけど。)



ジャージコレクション13(フランス その2)

推定1980年代のフランス代表ジャージの復刻版。adidasのマークが、三つ葉トレフォイルではなくて、現行のマークに替わっています。このジャージは、sample として製作されたもので、数はあまり出回らなかった希少品です。ヤフオクで、5,900円で即決で入手しました。デザインが、万人受けするようで、これを着て試合観戦に行くと、欲しがられるか、かっこいいと(ジャージが)褒められます。

ジャージコレクション14(フランス その3)


ジャージコレクション15(フランス その4)


ジャージ コレクション16(アルゼンチン トラック・ジャケット~HAND OF GOD)

メルカリで購入したジャージ(6,900円)。通称「神の手」ジャージ。86年メキシコW杯の「アルゼンチン対イングランド」戦の神の手ゴールを記念してつくられたadidas originals のジャージです。マラドーナが亡くなってからは、関連のジャージが高騰しました。大体、売り手は2倍くらいの値段で吹っ掛けてきます。まあ、ブームは一過性のものと思うので、半年くらいしたら、価格も落ち着くのではないでしょうか。

ジャージ コレクション17

(アルゼンチン トラック・ジャケット その2)


ジャージ コレクション18




これをみてもわかるように、日本のMr.ラグビー 平尾誠二選手のW杯ジャージでさえも、日本では10万円程度の値段しかつかないです。



若干、文字が薄くなっておりますが、Tony Underwoodと読み取れます。対戦相手の選手がサインしたものですね。

おお、Tony Underwood。もちろん私も知っています。1995年のRWCイングランド代表として、ラグビーワールドカップに出場しました。兄のRorry Underwood とともに、兄弟でイングランド代表チームのウイングとして活躍した快速選手です。

このサインを足掛かりに、このジャージがどの試合でおこなわれたのかを調べてみました。Tony Underwoodは、1992年から1998年までにイングランド代表として活躍しています。

このジャージに、ワールドカップのマークは刺繍されていませんので、ワールドカップ以外での対戦に絞られます。そして、最近私がよく利用する海外オークションサイト e-BAYにイングランド vs ルーマニアで検索をかけたら、プログラムが出てきました。



そして、対面のイングランドの14番(右ウイング)は、スタメンの表で確認すると、Tony Underwood。


ジャージ コレクション 19 ウェールズ代表ジャージ。ヤフオクで、5,000円で入手。新古品。COTTON TRADERS製品。

ジャージ コレクション 20

フランス代表トラックジャケット。2015年ころに発売。発売当初は、上着だけなのに20,000円もして、購入を躊躇したのを覚えています。でも個人的にはメチャクチャかっこいいと思っていたので、そのうちと思っていたら、SOLD OUT。昨年、e-BAYで、6,000円プラス送料4,000円で入手。新古品。ADIDAS製品。

ジャージコレクション 21 「5か国対抗ラグビー」記念ジャージ。

現在は、6 NATIONS RUGBY ですが、80年代はイタリアを除くフランス、スコットランド、ウエールズ、アイルランド、イングランドの5か国で優勝を争っていました。その記念ジャージです。ヤフオクで、2,980円にて購入しました。

ジャージ コレクション 22:RWC 2011でフランス代表チームが着ていたWarm Up Jacket。メルカリで、3,980円にて新古品で購入しました。袖口、襟口がトリコロールカラーになっているのが、なんともいえずかっこいい。

ジャージ コレクション 23

本日の試合会場で、クボタのテントの人が配っていたサポーター用ベースボール シャツ。2,000円の自由席のチケットで入場したのにこんなのもらっちゃって良いのでしょうか?せめて、私のBlogで紹介させていただきます。

ジャージ コレクション 24

本1987年の第1回 RWCの時代のフランス代表ユニフォーム(Serge Blancoの時代)。メルカリで、6,900円で入手。ところどころ毛羽立ち等あり、年季を感じますが、30年以上前のジャージなので、私は風格を感じます。前も言ったような気がいたしますが、日本だとvintageもののジャージは、評価は低いですが、海外のオークションサイトだと、10倍くらいします。同じものを日本で見つけたら、価格は(待てば)下がってきます。誰も、買わないので。

Jersey collection 25

The 1st time of 1987 Second jersey of a French representative uniform in the time of RWC. Dirt is conspicuous white jersey, but the preservation state is also good. There are almost no cases that this second jersey was judged from auctions. I bought it at 7980 yen by Mercari, inc. If it’s 1st JERSEY personally, Blanco is imagined, but if it’s 2nd, Philip Sera is remembered.

Jersey collection 26

Jersey of the world selection team (club) Barbarians. It’s new in YAFUOKU and it’s bought at 5900 yen. Though it was new, it was inexpensive, so it has been bought unconsciously. The small by which the size is international size. I don’t find out that the one as the size won’t be tried on by slyboots, this jersey was no problem.

Jersey collection 27 (French  Its 7).

Second Jersey of a French representative of 2011RWC. NIKE product. Then, in this abdomen, a line, many bottles, dispatch the design seems to have been paid much attention. I get dead stock for 4900 yen in Yahoo Auction.

Jersey collection 28

Unusual Tongan representative jersey. BUKTA (United Kingdom) product. I get it for 800 yen by Merukari. The design from which it wasn’t learned that a mark of a chest was a Tongan one for the previous owner. Because (Though it’s valuable actually.) a jersey in a minor country doesn’t make a high price in Japan most. I saw this manufacturer for the first time, too.

Jersey Collection 29

Fijian representative jersey. Manufacturer obscurity. I presume from a World Cup mark of a chest and estimate at a replica after 1991. I get it for 2500 yen by Meru potash. The Fijian representative who left with a vivid impression in the 1st time RWC in 1987. The first half overwhelmed Europe champion France by a 1st game of final tournament. It had been changed to FW competition and reversed in the second half, but they showed us Fijian Magic.

Jersey collection  30

Canterbury university rugby jersey. SUZUKI product. Yahoo!  It’s bought at 2000 yen by an auction. SUZUKI is mainly dealing with a uniform of a rugby club of Japan and an overseas university.

Jersey Collection 31

Canterbury university rugby Jacket. SUZUKI product. I bought at 2980 yen by Merucari. It was put by the Canterbury university rugby jersey introduced last week and a simultaneous period on sale, so I don’t waver and buy it. Because such rare jersey is rarely put on sale by a set.

Jersey Collection 32:Sun Wolves 2019-2020 Uniform

Canterbury product. Newness is bought at 4,980 yen by Merucari. The fixed price was about 10,000 yen when started to sell. This jersey commemorates Sun Wolves last season. It isn’t tight fit-type, so it’s also easy to put on as everyday clothes. Personally, I like it most in designing way among Sun Wolves uniforms of successive generations.


(Written by Azul/ May 9th, 2021)

A quarterfinal of Top League Final Play-off Tournament was performed in the weekend, this week (5/8、9).

As a result of 2 games of quarterfinal performed yesterday:

1:TOYOTA Verblitz VS NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes

In 33-29, winner Verblitz

Competition criticism: It was a big close game as expected. Whichever won the reverse continuation, the final stage was the situation which isn’t strange. The feeling that Verblitz came through the end somehow. Personally, it’s deserted that a game of Red Hurricanes which livened this season’s Top League most is last glimpse.

2:CANON Eagles VS Panasonic Wildnights

In 32-17, winner Wildnights

Competition criticism:

Proper win of Wildnights. Eagles was different from a last confrontation and avoided a shutout loss, but it wasn’t possible to destroy firm defence of Wildnights. The biggest interesting place in the game is the dash he has finished running to which through 80m in WTB Fukuoka in Wildnights in the second half for 17 minutes. Tamura of number 10 of Japanese representative who stood as defence on the way and Mafi of Japanese representative likewise, he finished dodging, and, all audience wondered at a try. It would be a shame that he retires at 28 years old .

3:SUNTORY Sangorias VS RICOH Black Rams

Players of Black Rams infected new-style Corona in large numbers, so a game is renounced. Semifinal advance decision was given to Sangorias.

And today and the last 1 game.

Sunday, May 9  JAPAN RUGBY TOP LEAGUE Playoff: Quarter final

Long way was doing a quarterfinal and the last 1 game in watch to Fukuroi-shi, Shizuoka all the way. (One way 238km)

The nearest station is Aino station. Using the Shinkansen, one way, it takes about 2 hours.

I have that with 15 minutes on foot from the station by a guide, but it’s 15 minutes to the fullest by a trot, isn’t it? A stadium is on the mountain, so way is uphill earnestly. It was 28 times of highest temperature today, so I have become all of a sweat.

It’s seen, this uphill. But this town holds the facilities where it requires such large cost of maintenance, and a person isn’t walking so much, is finance in the city all right? Though a ECOPA stadium was made before soccer World Cup in 2002 when saying so, they aren’t playing games so much, right? The closest one is a team of J League in Shizuoka-ken, but the snugger place is made a home stadium respectively. I’m slightly worried about operation further down.

It was so and when I was walking, an exclusive parking lot was being seen.

This is also the different meaning and why does it feel like? Though (Audience restriction by Corona.) only 5,000 people come to today’s game at the stadium more than 40,000 people can be accommodated in ECOPA, a parking lot is full. You didn’t have to come by a car. Also when I said, 3 trains in Aino station in the nearest station were organization. This is also proof of the case that a person has not usually come to ECOPA so much, isn’t it?

And a ECOPA stadium was being seen finally.

It’s the biggest in the stadium to which I have gone out this season. It’s the stadium of “impact in Shizuoka” where Japan team won in strong contestant Ireland team for 2019 years in RWC between the rugby fan. It seems that Rugby Football Union would like to make here a sacred place of new rugby.

They seem to hold a game of “Japanese representative team VS Sun Wolves” on June 12 and. But only 5,000 people have to settle the degree by the restriction of new-style Corona. Audience game or cancellation-lessness is also possible.

I have worried variously, but I’d like to enjoy a game.

Even if I enter the inside, it’s a large stadium (Naturally?)

Then easy introduction of each team.

** KOBELCO Steelers

Japanese championship, the “absolute champion” who has achieved 7 straight victories. When winning the victory 2 years ago, every game was an overwhelming victory. More than 10 representative persons with experience of each country are gathered, too. The power isn’t shown not completely satisfactory this season more than results in the past. I was undefeated just in case, but there were quite much narrow victories in the league series.

Then, next.

** KUBOTA Spears

Without victory experience. But it’s the new team which has started to rip into dominance per last year. They had 2 losses in this season’s league series, and it was the 3rd, but it was a close game to the end verge. There are also 7 representative persons with experience of each country with Marcolm Marx of the world best hooker at the head a belonging player. Even if a victory is contested, it isn’t strange.

And when I counted the number of the cameraman who occupied the two goal back before a game, they were 7 north sides and 12 south sides. In other words, the press thought KOBELCO Steelers prevailed.

And in 12:45, Kicked Off.

When a game started, the offensive of KUBOTA was different from usual. It was widening excessively. I was not taking on. Was this a Steelers measure? If I thought so, SH wasn’t Inoue of an usual starting member. Taniguchi player? When I checked a member table, he seemed to be the 3rd substitute player.

This fitted in as a free result. While 10 minutes had not also passed, they got 2 trys, 2Gs and 1PG, 17-0. A conspicuous one was the attack with which number 11 of KUBOTA lengthwise attack from an opposite direction, and KOBELCO permitted substantial gain more than 3 times (he tried for once of inside) is it a one-sided game for a KOBELCO ?

But Barnard Foley in SO in KUBOTA had a foul tackle after this in the first half for 29 minutes, blowed exiting. (Though a partner had crashed into the place Foley had left, why was it?)

Unfortunately, KUBOTA stayed in having to fight 50 minutes, in a state 1 person was few, and it was. KOBELCO got a try and a goal on the first half end eve, and it was the first half turn in 17-7. KUBOTA may be defeated by KOBELCO.

But it was slow that the engine starts in this season’s KOBELCO. Even the condition second half for a little past 20 minutes when numerical predominance couldn’t be utilized was deadlocked. That a counterattack had started gradually, after Ataata entered as CTB.

It wasn’t a lengthwise attack using numerical predominance, it widened, and, if it had changed to an attack, they broke a defense network readily with the second half for 23 minutes and 30 minutes, tried continuously and reversed at last by goal success.

20-21. To be honest, it was the atmosphere as the win of KOBELCO just as it was.

But KUBOTA hold on here and without giving the additional score, KOBELCO had a foul. There were too much fouls in today’s KOBELCO. It had completely defeated mostly in the ball scramble around the rack in particular. Is this an outcome of guidance of MARX in KUBOTA?

Van Den Heever in WTB succeeded PG by this foul, and KUBOTA reversed on end eve. 23-21.

It was TOYOTA competition of league competition final race that this scene was seen and remembered, and that he failed a goal and did a reverse try in TOYOTA immediately after. It’s important to finish a partner off by a game as expected.

KUBOTA protected the score for the last 3 minutes, and, ball keeping. It was a no side just as it is. The stop of consecutive victories which is KOBELCO at last.

Top League Semi-Final which will be next week by this?

  1. SUNTORY Sungolias VS KUBOTA Spears
  2. TOYOTA Verblitz VS Panasonic Wildnights

However, next week’s game has been infection regulation of new-style Corona and has been a game audience-lessly. An emergency declaration was extended by Osaka and Tokyo until the end of the month, so the final game scheduled by 5/23 may be also a game audience-lessly.

Jersey Collection 29

Fijian representative jersey. Manufacturer obscurity. I presume from a World Cup mark of a chest and estimate at a replica after 1991. I get it for 2500 yen by Meru potash. The Fijian representative who left with a vivid impression in the 1st time RWC in 1987. The first half overwhelmed Europe champion France by a 1st game of final tournament. It had been changed to FW competition and reversed in the second half, but they showed us Fijian Magic.

RUGBY JERSEY~Top League Final Play-off Tournament

(written by Azul/ April 25, 2021)

** News of attention **

For the British-Irish Lions match in this coming June, 2021 year rugby Japanese representative for a competition selection member was announced. There are no time to do all the members’ brief review and space, but I make only one person take up.

Gerahard Van Den Heever-from South Africa. 192cm and 102kg. 32 years old. A player which possesses all elements  necessary for modern Wing player who can run through 100m by a stand for 10 seconds though he is a giant beyond 190cm. He makes up with WTB, CTB and FB as a utility player.

He has served as a starting member in the whole competition in Sun wolves, 2018-2019. When saying real feelings, I wanted him to appear as a Japanese classified weapon of RWC 2019. Heaven was also giving him 2 things and 3 things in handsome a face, but he was only slightly unlucky. But please play an active part now. It’s expected.

On Sunday, April 25~ JAPAN RUGBYRUGBY TOP LEAGUE Playoff.

** Introduction of both teams **

TOYOTA Verblitz : It passes 2nd place of 2021 White Conference. Favorite’s one corner. The veteran brave team with whom 8 times are also spangled in Japanese best.

Main player:

Kieran Read : common captain. No.8. New Zealand 127 caps of representative.

Michael Hooper: FL. Australia 105 caps of representative.

Kaito Shigeno:  Common captain. SH. 10 caps of Japanese representative.

HINO Red Dolphins: It passes 7th place of 2021 Red Conference. Entry into the Top League since 2018.

Main player:

Augustine Pulu: Common captain SH. New Zealand 2 caps of representative.

Liaki Moli: LO. 2021 Japanese representative candidate.

Yuichi Kudomi: Prop. 21 caps of Japanese representative.

** Expectation before kick off **

When this season’s results are considered, predominance of TOYOTA doesn’t move. Further, as far as the former game is watched, HINO is slow starter, so since putting it in tournament, it’s necessary to change game plan and meet.

Then I’ll see about today’s game.

Today’s meeting place is also Chichibunomiya rugby playground. It’s for a short while later than usual, 14:30 Kick Off. For spread restraint of new-style Corona, an emergency declaration was taken out by Tokyo-to from today. All tickets were sold out, but since making it 2nd game of tournament, an audience is a little.

Then kick off.

If they lose this game, it’s the end this season, so I have them exert itself in HINO and wants them to make a game become heated.

If I was thinking so and am seeing, HINO had mentioned a try by starting for 4 minutes. They ran, from the beginning, engine opening.

But a struggle of HINO was also until the first half for 15 minutes. After that by the score TOYOTA piled up 3 tries by the first half end, and which was 21-10 at the time of the first half end, turned.

They were fighting equally by a set play, so FW in HINO did n’t seem to be ruling a game. There was also no mistake firing like time of Black Rams competition for today’s game BK. When HINO scores a point, they become a little more fascinating to a game.

Even though Cronje in SO in TOYOTA was using the kick offensive to the enemy back for today’s game. When the offensive of several games of HINO had been seen, defense of back three had been rough there, so he’d checked that beforehand, right?

However, today’s HINO didn’t make a mistake at all. I accepted that defense became so good in about only 1 week, and there was a stickiness in Hino’s defense. A continuous attack was also done. From when would they had come to play so earnest rugby?

The continuous try by which they were the second half, 19 minutes and 23 minutes that earnest of this HINO was realized. The try of Kawai(FB) at 23 minutes of second half  was in particular highlights of this game. When shaking 3 people of defense in TOYOTA off by a step and getting a try by oneself, I have shuddered unconsciously.

Because it’s Corona, audiences weren’t supposed to shout and support, so audiences clapped, this offensive of all the members of HINO was too wonderful, so the whole stadium presented clapping to HINO. (Oh was seized with the sense to say that a fan of HINO spoiled so much.)

HINO approached 4 difference in points by (remaining time for 13 minutes) as of this.

I thought “Even if HINO excelled, it wasn’t strange. They might be able to win.” However, a continuous try could be decided in TOYOTA after this, and it had been thrust away. It’s left and the cooperation mistake which wasn’t shown up to that in 13 minutes had gone out. HINO also had shown the pride in the end and had returned 1 try, as a result of the as expected when the last score was next to 49-29 and the prewar days, if, it was.

However, a struggle of HINO which showed it in the second half middle was play of which supporter may think very highly.

Such play thought it’s a little regrettable in fans of HINO increasing more always to form. You’ll aim at a victory next year.

(Sales tent of supporter goods of HINO)

Jersey collection 27 (French  Its 7).

Second Jersey of a French representative of 2011RWC. NIKE product. Then, in this abdomen, a line, many bottles, dispatch the design seems to have been paid much attention. I get dead stock for 4900 yen in Yahoo Auction.

RUGBY JERSEY~Top League Final Play-off Tournament

(written by Azul/April 18,2021)

The top league is rushed into a tournament competition than 4/27. There is a period in more than 1 month until a final game of 5/23, but so a discounted team is the off season from here.

Please choose as a Japanese representative, a player wants even game of place by the appeal. The game with the thick density is expected.

** View of a tournament **

When something as Giant Killing is the rugby for which it’s difficult to occur, but a victory will view which team it is.

  • 1) KOBE Steelers : The team for which the name as the champion is suitable

   SUNTORY Sangolias : The world most valuable player Beauden Barrett also joins, overwhelming victory of league series.

   Panasonic Wildnights : The RWC selected player is enrolled a lot.

   These 3 teams are front-running.

  • 2)  The team which presses this a little more than 3 are as follows.

     KUBOTA Spears: Even 1 step more of SUNTORY was run down. They aim at the first-time victory.

     TOYOTA Verblitz : A player layer is too thick. Even a representative captain goes around to wait.

  • 3)  The teams which keeps a reverse possibility are as follows:

     NTT DOCOMO Red Hurricanes: Eye of this season’s typhoon. You can’t take your eyes off any games.

     TOSHIBA Bravelupas : The strength of Physical is No.1. Calmness is desired but to win.

** Then today’s game **

Sunday, April 18 TOP LEAGUE Final Play-off Tournament The 1st clause


The 1st clause of Top League Tournament will be a confrontation with 4 teams of Top League (Dominance league) subordinate and 4 teams of Top Challenge League (Lower rank league)Dominance team.

2 games of yesterday is digested already. The results are as follows:

  1. Toyota Shuttles VS NEC Green Rockets: 24-25 (winner =NEC)
  2. Coca-cola Red Sparks VS Mitsubishi Dynaboars: 24-17 (winner =Mitsubishi)

The victory which is Top League momentum properly when only a result is seen. But the contents were quite close victory. There is almost no ability difference.

A meeting place is Chichibunomiya rugby playground. It’s the 3rd time of watch this season in this field. For 12:00Kick Off, I arrived at 11:15 at Sendagaya station.

In 15 minutes on foot, stadium arrival. I enterd by a system as mask wear, hand finger alcohol sterilization and taking the temperature by a new-style Corona measure. For audience’s crowd state avoidance, it’s seating every one person. Still when it’s full, about 10,000 people put it in, but it’s entering of about 50 % = about 5000 people.

Even though the ideal watch weather. Comfortable.

I had not also watched a game of these both teams on television this season, so I saw the one recorded on the previous day and prepared. The first half can hold on by a dominance strong contestant team in Sanixblues, too. But the second half is too deformed.

Liners was compared, and saw an order play-off of Top Challenge League, but there are too much slightly small mistakes (Handling Error, Off Side). If I was Top League partner if it was this, it was the impression to which I say whether it was painful.

** Profile of both teams besides that.

* MUNAKATA Sanixblues: Top League

 The only entry into the war team from Kyushu. 8th place of 2021 White Conference (the= lowest rank).

When the enterprise which becomes a mother’s body compares with Toyota, it’s small, so because there is no funding ability, can’t people be gathered? I thought so, but I don’t meet. A face is wonderful.

* James Moore (Japanese representative Rock)

* Kosei Ono (former Japanese representative 34cap, SO)

* LEMEKI (Japanese representative WTB)

* Waren Vosayako (No.8) and Dan Pryor (FL) were Sun Wolves (= Japanese representative upbringing team) Central players.

Though there is a player who becomes a stone so much, why is it the lowest rank? But achievement of a company descends for new-style Corona according to newspaper report, and the rugby club will be said to be degradation from next year. Does this influence? I’m sad.

* KINTETSU Liners:  2nd place of 2021 year Top Challenge League. Toyota Shuttles of about 1 discounted yesterday, so is the power also inferior a little here? Though it is not so.

Will Genia (Australia representative 110cap, SH)

* Quade Cooper (Australia representative 70cap, SO)

* Michael Stolberg (2020 Sunwolves, Rock)

*Semisi Masirewa (2018-2019 Sunwolves, FB)

This team is also wonderful. When it’s seen actually at a ground, it’s astonished, a lock of Liners is that both of 2 people are tall more than 200 cm. Line out will be invincible.

And 12:00Kick Off as scheduled.

A taking the initiative try is Sanixblues. Readily, they broke through defense. There is a lot of handling error in Liners, They’ll reverse immediately. But the try which was taken by the individual brilliance which are SH and SO rather than destroying partner formation and getting a try. The first half is the lead which is Liners in 17-14.

The difference in points rivaled, so the second half also had the hunch which seems rather fun.

And in tackle where Fakaosilea of No.8 of Liners is dangerous in second half starting Sincerely yours, blow exiting. Liners  One person has become little. This thought they seem able to overcome Sanixblues, SH Genia in Liners rolls Kick effective in the partner’s back many times here, and, Sanixblues, processing, while they were sluggish, the score was repeated. The self-destruction loss which can decide the attack Sanixblues has to do primarily reversely, and is Sanixblues.

He couldn’t get a try also, but an existence sense of Masirewa in FB put in Liners from the second half shone.

When he began to run with a ball, a cheer arose from a stand. It’s because an audience knows Masirewa rather than the run has the force different from other players clearly. If he had a ball, not to kick back if it’s kicked, Play Style in Masirewa is FB which does Counter attack.

Masirewa was seen and remembered, but it’s because he was the player who doesn’t kick back and does Counter Attack by all means when a opponent did Kick, that a player as James Dargaville is in Sunwolves in 2020 and makes an impression very much. Such player is a considerable minority by high modern rugby of defense power like present. (If the player who would like to be a Japanese representative is doing this, it would never be chosen.)

But it’s thought that such very offensive player appears from the audience side, and it’s fascinating and is no use. When I say the player who showed Counter Attack surprised in the past.

  1. John Kirwan (NZ): Sean who accomplished running until a partner inn goal from the goal front shown in the start game of RWC in 1987 and tried, already, legend.
  2. Johna Romu (NZ): Try king of 1995 year RWC. The player who plans for a breakthrough by all means when he has a ball as WTB. I left with the intense impression no one can stop.

Additionally: A team is French champagne rugby in 1987. In today, Fiji national team. The consciousness connected away by all the members is a team carried without exception, so opposing team can’t kick carelessly. The Argentine representative when one more being inferior. The strong will I say can be felt to be never defeated in 1 to 1.

Jersey collection 26

Jersey of the world selection team (club) Barbarians. It’s new in YAFUOKU and it’s bought at 5900 yen. Though it was new, it was inexpensive, so it has been bought unconsciously. The small by which the size is international size. I don’t find out that the one as the size won’t be tried on by slyboots, this jersey was no problem.

RUGBY JERSEY~Japan Rugby Top League

(written by Azul/ April 11, 2021)

Saturday, April 10 JAPAN RUGBY TOP LEAGUE, The most finale.

(There are a lot of English areas readers of my blog overwhelmingly, so I offer my blog in English from this week.)

JAPAN RUGBY TOP LEAGUE the holding is also postponed for more than 1 month by influence of new-style Corona, and which has started, finally, the 7th clause (the most finale). The order is fixed with this week’s game, and tournament will begin from next week, and a winning team decides.

Today’s game meeting place is Komazawa Olympic park overall playground. The stadium where I have the history constructed in case of Tokyo Olympic Games (in 1964) last time. When old National Stadium is demolished, and I think remodel has been just, there is something filled with deep emotion.

Though it’s a stadium with such history, it’s for the first time that I come here. What kind of stadium is it?

The nearest station gets off by Komazawadaigaku station in 3 station from Tokyu Denentoshi line Shibuya station in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, and it’s arrival in about 10 minutes on foot.

A really wonderful park. Big wide maintenance is attentive. When there is such park near the home, I’m happy.

When I follow people’s flow to the stadium, I have arrived at a meeting place.

The first impression seen from the bottom “They’re some ordinary fields.”. But, when I go upstairs, an impression changes completely.

Though it was made in 1960 ‘s, (It’s impolite?) The near future-like building. It’s that a vast square is in front of the field to raise the style of the field also. When I said the stadium which juxtapose a square like this, a HANAZONO rugby playground in Higashiosaka-city was imagined.

I had arrived 1 hour ago of Kick Off, so stands around the meeting place could be visited.

It’s a rugby jersey department that I have caught attention first. A jersey of RWC 2019 was sold. But it’s expensive. Too expensive. The replica by which the cost is about 20,000 yen is 14,000 yen. If I just look, it’s fun, but I can’t hold my hand out.

Next the booth of this confrontation team was being seen. Tent of public relations of HINO Red Dolphins.

Balls with player’s autograph signature were being sold. It’s the democratic price compared with a jersey of the dead stock a short while ago. A ball was sold out after a game. Red Dolphins is a team in neighborhood of the home, so when there is no Corona, you do fan Thanksgiving Day in spring. Regrettable.

This is today’s Starting Member stuck in front of the tent of Red Dolphins.

Then I’ll enter a stadium.

Today’s my seat, “southern stand Line 1 of S, number 151”.

I run, 1 line. This is lucky. It was the day, and I noticed. Because if it’s line 1 to take a picture when I say whether it’s lucky, it’s close and why isn’t there an obstacle?

Today was the ideal watch weather at the sky in sky blue which comes off (In addition to that the land truck was also blue and.)

Now, easy introduction of the both teams which play a game today.


About 5 during 8 teams when 2 win belongs to White Conference by 4 losses (World Cup point 9) current as of the RICOH Black Rams:.

The uniform is black as the team name indicates. There is a lot of foreign player from New Zealand as a name of Rams indicates. All except for an anti-Panasonic competition loses in a discounted game by a narrow margin. It’s persevering team color, isn’t it?


About 7 during 8 teams when 1 win belongs to White Conference by 4 losses (A game of World Cup point is 7.) current as of the HINO Red Dolphins:. If it’s stable and is the game by which it rains, FW shows its character. When I say conversely, it’s lacking in the decisive power of the Backs.

About today’s game-.

The audience’s beginning of today was a confrontation between the lower rank teams of Conference, and 3000-about 4000. By the way, the biggest accommodation number of people of Komazawa athletic stadium is 20,010. The entering which is not completely satisfactory.

The game contents are near the order, Black Rams ruled a game mostly. It’s personal prejudice, but there are almost no cases that I judged a weak team from the team by which black Rugby Jersey is worn.

Of Black Rams where 4 tried the first half, it was a complete victory and was 24-0 and One Side Game mostly.

But 17-19 and Red Dolphins regained the second half. It was for a short while too late that the engine starts, wasn’t it? Because there is real ability which can be taken equally mostly for FW competition, I think there was a chance to win. The positive reaction person it’s in the team that it was unfortunate for Red Dolphins 1 week before, and who is new-style Corona, more than one, the thing which had to go out and replace a member (6 people?) much.

The last score: 41-19 (win of Black Rams)

** Postscript by the blogger **

The camera I got last week (CANON SX 420 IS) played an active part, but it was that I could sit down in line 1 of this time, and there was something I got personally by picture taking.

There was a professional cameraman in 1st line in the goal back fairly, and it was possible to see their photography.

A professional takes a decisive moment (scene of a try) from the goal back using a basic tripod and a super-telephoto lens, I take a picture while predicting the game contents.

When a player is approaching a goal, a basic superspeed ream is shot with a camera while chasing it. KASHAKASHA sound is noisy, isn’t it? The cameraman who was next to me while today’s my photography number was about 100, presumes, he was taking a picture of more than 500. This, because the tone of the cameraman’s machinery and materials is noisy, and the general audience couldn’t endure  when he loses at a full stadium, so professional cameramans come to the empty goal back, don’t they?

A superspeed ream struck my camera of an amateur, and there were no functions, so 1 1 shutter was pushed. Of course, a decisive moment coudn’t be taken.

I learn on the way, too, and, using the animation function of the camera, when editing, it was thought of to take a static image out from an animation.

(The moment this is a try.)

Next when it’s made super-zooming when taking such sports picture, when it isn’t fixed by a tripod, a picture is blurred, and how can’t it be done? If it’ll be 60 times-70 times because it’s so by 42 times of telephoto lens, it’s impossible by the way to have it by hand and take a picture, isn’t it?

If a line of seat can be reserved next time, I think a small tripod is taken. A professional when he try to take all machinery and materials a cameraman has, he have to carry by private car, it can’t be brought in. The considerable weight.

A result of the game is predicted, and the cameraman who enters in the stadium and is taking a picture by the goal back is taking a picture of that he noticed also, isn’t he?

A basic dominance team stands by in the goal back which is being attacked, predicts development and shoots a high-speed ream. If it was in case of today, he was standing by on the side Black Rams is attacking. It’ll be movement on the other side in the second half. They don’t know what happens to a game. If the budget is abundant, the company which employs a cameraman would also arrange a cameraman on the other side.

I’d like to take a better picture next time.

Jersey collection 25

The 1st time of 1987 Second jersey of a French representative uniform in the time of RWC. Dirt is conspicuous white jersey, but the preservation state is also good. There are almost no cases that this second jersey was judged from auctions. I bought it at 7980 yen by Mercari, inc. If it’s 1st JERSEY personally, Blanco is imagined, but if it’s 2nd, Philip Sera is remembered.

RUGBY JERSEY~Japan Rugby Top League

(written by Azul, April 4th, 2021)



**  NEC Green Rockets:0勝5敗(8チーム中8位) **

2/20 vs KOBELCO Steelers~38-47 ×

2/27 vs NTT DOCOMO Red Hurricanes~19-38 ×

3/6  vs YAMAHA Jubilo~31-59 ×

3/21  vs HINO Red Dolphins ~7-10 ×

3/14 vs Panasonic Wild Knights~5-62 ×

総評:現在、White Conferenceに所属する8チーム中の最下位。初戦で、王者KOBELCO Steelersに肉薄する戦いを見せて、明るい展望を抱かせたが、その後、僅差の試合もとりこぼして、現状を打開出来ていない。展開した時の攻撃には光るものがあるが、守備力が低い。しかし、セットプレーは安定しているので、打開の余地はあると思われる。過去、日本選手権優勝3回を誇る古豪である。

**  RICOH Black Rams:1勝4敗  **

2/20 vs Panasonic Wild Knights~14-55 ×

2/27 vs YAMAHA Jubilo~23-22 〇

3/6  NTT DOCOMO Red Hurricanes~17-22 ×

3/14  vs KOBELCO Steelers ~19-20 ×

3/27 vs CANON Eagles~28-31 ×

総評:現在、White Conferenceに所属する8チーム中の6位。1勝ながら僅差の負けが4つあり、勝ち点7を獲得している。戦歴で見てわかるように、上位チーム相手でも互角に食い下がってくる手ごわいチームではある。近年は、リーグでも下位に位置しているが、NECと同様日本選手権優勝経験(2回)があり、復活を期している。


Kick Off は13:00、会場は秩父宮ラグビー場ということで、前回よりも少し余裕をもって、開始70分前に千駄ヶ谷駅に到着しました。



ラーメンの上にある黄色いビールのような飲み物は、Jasmine Teaです(無料)。見てわかるように、背脂が浮いていて、かなりコッテリしています。

さて、エネルギー充填完了したので、秩父宮ラグビー場へ。昨日は、Red Conferenceの首位攻防戦SUNTORY Sangolias と KUBOTA Spears が行われてTV観戦しましたが、満員でした。さて、今日の試合はどうなるでしょう。

写真はメインスタンドですが、半分入ってないですね。こちらの試合は、6位 VS 8位ですから。それでも、ファンは3,000円から4,000円を自分で払って5,000人も来場しています。




しかし、RICOHは、きれいに展開していきますね。セットプレーの後の連続攻撃が流れるようにスムーズで、これは日ごろの練習の賜物でしょうか。後半の選手交代で気が付きましたが、これはスクラムハーフのToshiya Takahashi 選手の技量によるものですね。彼のProfile をかくにんすると、小学生からラグビーを始めて、國學院久我山高校 → 青山学院大学と進み、RICOHに入社して5年目ということです。ほんとに淀みないリズムを生み出し、美しい攻撃でした。

(中央で手を叩いているのが、Takahashi 選手。)


しかし後半になって、NECの選手がリコーのリズムに適応してきました。NECの場合、「攻撃は最大の防御」という言葉が、良く当てはまります。後半、10分から30分までは、NECの時間帯でした。本日のatackの核となっていたのが、CTBの12番Maritino Nemani 選手です。

RICOHの堅守をしばしば突破して、見せ場をつくってくれました。Profileをみると、Fiji 出身の選手です。やはり、走りが力強いですね。


しかしながら、終盤、NECが怒涛の突破を見せてくれたのですが、RICOHの10番Isaac Lucasや15番Matt McGahanらのturn overや、NECのミスキック等で、最後は、突き放されてしまいました。


ジャージ コレクション 24

本1987年の第1回 RWCの時代のフランス代表ユニフォーム(Serge Blancoの時代)。メルカリで、6,900円で入手。ところどころ毛羽立ち等あり、年季を感じますが、30年以上前のジャージなので、私は風格を感じます。前も言ったような気がいたしますが、日本だとvintageもののジャージは、評価は低いですが、海外のオークションサイトだと、10倍くらいします。同じものを日本で見つけたら、価格は(待てば)下がってきます。誰も、買わないので。

** 新兵器登場 **

これまで、iPhone SEを使いスタジアムで、写真をとってきましたが、選手の表情はわからないし、Close PictureをTVとかで写すのも嫌だし、iPhone SEのカメラの限界を感じていました。そして先週、写真のCanon Power Shot SX 420 ISを購入いたしました。光学ズームが42倍あり、なにより、選手の表情が撮れるようになったのが嬉しいです。あと、このカメラ重量が325gしかないです。下手なcompact camera より軽い。軽すぎる。今週の写真の一部をこのカメラで撮影しています。