In the morning we went to one of the eldest temples in Tokyo, the Asakusa Kannon Temple. The entry gate is a giant red archway donated by the founder of Panasonic, as when he became ill he came to the temples and prayed on a daily basis and made a full recovery. The temples damaged in WW2 were rebuilt and needed a further restoration in 1975. One of the temples, the Gojyu-no-to Temple houses the ashes of Buddha.
After the temple, we then went on to the fixture against Meguro-Gakuin Senior high school. Most boys had a new experience as the game was played on artificial turf. The game composed of a two 30min half against the first team and a 20 minute half against the second team. As the boys ran on for the beginning of the match, the two teams greeted each other with a bow on the 10-meter lines, unlike the usual handshake. The Meguro-Gakuin pack immediately showed their capability and strength, especially in their set piece and breakdown. To such an extent as a dominant rolling mall pushed over the line to score the second try in the match. However, Newington’s two tries scored by Petro and Sam allowed for newington to lead at half time, with a scoreline of 12-5. The second half then became a grind as the two teams remained scoreless for majority of the half. Although the Megura-Gakuin boys were held up on multiple occasions, the Newington team allowed no tries in the second half. The lead was extended in the final seconds as Petro got his second meat pie, ending the game at 17-5.
The aftermath function was a real spectacular. Along with the usual speeches the school also put on an amazing Karate display. Followed by a routine from the dance group, which Opeti decided to join in and thankfully didn’t fall over and crush any of the girls.
by Tom Sermon, Christian Poidevin & Tyrone Taukamo