Japan Samurais push St Bernard's in tour match
Thursday, September 06 2007 @ 09:04 pm ACST
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
Following from their match against Melbourne-Vietnam the previous weekend, the All-Japan Samurai continued their 2007 Australian tour this weekend with a match against top Melbourne amateur side St Bernard's Old Collegians. The Samurai stayed close to the Bernards all day, thrilling the local crowd with their intensity before going down 14.8.92 to 11.10.76.
Despite an effective start to the match for St. Bernard’s with a 4 goal opening burst, the Samurai’s responded brilliantly with 4 goals for the quarter and only trailed by 9 points at the first break.
Having acclimatized to the conditions of a hard and fast surface, and with the warmth of an early spring afternoon, the pace and skill of the Japanese began to thrill the receptive crowd as they shared the ball and attacked the goals as much as their more skilled rivals.
Very keen to take the initiative of the match the Samurai’s emerged from the pavilion after the half time break with great enthusiasm and run, however the more versatile and experienced St. Bernard’s players set up a 3 goal lead to open the final quarter.
But, not to be denied, the Samurais continued to run hard at and fast with the football in the last quarter, and showing no signs of leaving the match unfinished, they actually outscored St. Bernard’s in the final term.
The match was concluded with several group photographs, celebratory refreshments enjoyed by all, and presentations to the Samurai’ s players from both the AFL (Andrew Catterall, AFL Football Operations and player for St. Bernard’s in the match) and St. Bernard’s OCFC International Relations Manager and club curator John Raffle.
The entire Samurai’s team, support staff and supporter group enjoyed the full hospitality of the St. Bernard’s community as they shared a full buffet luncheon and unlimited refreshments well into the afternoon, with all enjoying the social environment and convivial atmosphere.
St. Bernard’s OCFC is most appreciative of the opportunity to host the Japanese National Team and truly hopes that the enjoyment and success of yesterday has created bonds that will endure and create an annual event.
St. Bernard's 14.8.92 d Japan 11.10.76
St. Bernard’s – Joel Egan 4, Greg Wood 2, Michael Angel 2, Luke Mitchell,
Mark Juricksay, Andrew Catterall, James Hughes,
Josh Madden, Andrew Van Meel
Samurais – Takehito Mori 5, Michito Sakaki 2, Takuma Sasaki , Hiroyuki Toyama, Katsuto Ikedo, Mitsuhikoto Ohashi
St. Bernard’s – Simon Chatfield, Joel Egan, Michael Sullivan, Michael Angel,
Luke Mitchell, Andrew Van Meel, Will Overman
Samurais – Michito Sakaki, Takehito Mori, Kase Tguyoshi, Katsuto Ikedo Shoto Yokoyama, Yasuhiro Takamiya, Hiroyuki Toyama