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Kansai-bunga dude! - Abiko Ducks vs. Kansai Kaminari

(What follows is only being recounted by one man, and thankfully not the entirety of the cohort)

So no shit there we were, lined up at a Shinkansen platform circa 9:00 on a Saturday. As the autumn winds blew and two of the group drank brew, there was a tour to be had down southwest. With a stumble and shiver, the gang boarded the Nozomi for what would be a comfy ride to Shin-Osaka. Half the squad was bulleting down, while the other took an array of midnight buses and vans.

The tour got off on the right foot, as the Shinkansen crew arrived at Osaka, while the rest of the gang was nowhere to be seen. “That’s a fine” quipped Aaron, “What the hell is a fine?” asked Kei. After some textual debating, it was decided the Shink group would grab some pseudo-Italian food on their own, and meet the rest of the party at the ground. After a feed, the gang headed north for Yodogawa, nearly leaving a slumbering Kei behind as Will and Alex hollered “Grab’em!”. The fun didnt stop there as the lads grabbed a taxi, managing to piss off the driver and break a trunk latch in the process. “She’ll be right” was the general consensus, while Aaron looked back in paranoia all the way there. Being deposited atop a hill the gang took a shuddering breath as they beheld their fate: A clay pitch with a few sharp blades of dead grass between.

It seems fate would bring the opposing forces together, as a “Afternoon cunts!” rang out across the carpark. The Kaminari lads had arrived with kit, cooler, and chowder in tow. Moments later the rest of the Ducks came into view, led by none other than our legendary center Tami. Right behind him were David, Ken, and Rinta holding Miku aloft. After some typical pleasantries, the lads began to kit up for what we were assuming was going to be a dust bowl. The Rugby League Gods smiled on us however, as (bloody legend) Seizou called to inform us they’d gotten their hands on the grass pitch 200 meters north. With a collective sigh of relief the gang headed up. Seizo had brought a friend, and it seems the Ducks versus Kaminari showdown would be a modified code of 9s League. After bribing the ref and some separate stretching, the lads were ready for kick off.


  • 13. Will

  • 11. Alex

  • 10. Aaron

  • 6. Ken

  • 5. Kei

  • 3. Tami

  • 1. Rinta (C)

  • 0. David

  • 69. Miku

Kaminari LINEUP:

  • Minty (C)

  • Andy

  • Mitch

  • Yoshihisa

  • Seizo

  • Bryan

  • Nocky

  • Shu

With a whistle, Bryan from Kaminari sent the ball on high for round 1. A good take by Rinta up the gut helped settle the nerves, as Aaron’s follow up carry came with choking echoes of “Harder daddy”. It was time for the back line to get their hands dirty. Sadly an unlucky ball resulted in the first scrum. A quick hook, and Kansai was off to the races. Quick hands off center came Mitch, who in full flight looked reminiscent of Ragnar 3rd Jaeger shot in. Another outside carry by Yoshi seemed to bend the defense, but textbook tackling by mighty kiwi Alex forced an error. The second scrum followed, with Ken hitting an inside line for what became the first of many tries. A conversion later, and the Ducks were leading. This continued for a minutes, until Kaminari finally spotted a chink the Quack Pack’s armor. Quick hands and a step by Seizo had the ball in Kobe Boy Shu’s hands, resulting in Kansai’s opening try. The whistle blew for half (third?) time, the difference only a converted try. After guzzling some water, Monster, and whiskey, the men retook the field for the second (tHiRd?!) half.

Ken sent the ball high and right, causing it to land once again with the dreadlocked menace and Yoshi. Quick hands by Nocky had the ball going wide, and it seemed the 2 on 1 was realized as Minty took off like a giraffe in heat. Thighs inflexion, eyes bulging with anticipation of a try, his thunderous trot would certainly be difficult to stop. Most would be intimidated by such a large specimen at pace on the wing. Most would see the ambition, hand off on standby, thunderous thighs, and decide maybe it is a tackle for the fullback. Luckily Kei is not like most people. Throwing himself at the ball carrier, Kei was nearly smited by Minty’s “This is my beer fuck off cunt” hand off, but a quick recovery and headcharge saw him wrangling the Kansai wing to the floor. A tackle later, and it was penalty time. Minty was slow to get up and (allegedly) injured. All eyes looked to the sideline, as the Coolahbah master tossed off his shades, straightened his ball cap, and thundered out onto the pitch. Andy took up position on the wing as the final ball before half (3?) time went skyward.

The final section of time was probably the most jarring for the tourists. Kansai came up with line speed, stopping the first phase ball by Aaron, Alex, and Will just short of the gainline. Ken, ever so smooth in reaching into his bag of tricks, pulled a short grubber kick resulting in Ducks possession. A few plays later, and the lads were on the precipice of another try. Sure enough, a crashing run by Tami had the lads within 5 meters, and a dummy half run by Ken had the boys on the scoreboard yet again. It was at this point shit went sideways. Bryan took a spicy run up the middle, only to be clotheslined by Aaron into 2022 resulting in a few extra meters. In the subsequent play, a bump off by Shu saw the visitors closing in on the Ducks. The try was luckily not converted out wide. 2 minutes on the clock, and the laughing gods struck again like lightning. Following another run by Nocky, Seizou had an open avenue to put Shu in for yet another try. Once again, the try was not converted. A kick later, and the ducks were in Kaminari’s 22 with 3 tackles to go. Sadly, an unlucky ball saw a scrum called in the local’s favor. “Boys, no missed tackles!” screamed Ken, as the scrum set with 30 seconds to go. The ball was fed, and Yoshi found himself in between a rock and absolute damnation as Rinta combo’d with Alex for a crunching tackle. Last play on the clock. Ball wide to Nocky, he took a step but was no match for the heat seeking Ducks, as the final tackle was made and whistle blown. The final score read Abiko Ducks 28 - Kansai Kaminari 24. Mitch took MVP for Kansai due to his excellent defense, while Ken took MVP for the Ducks due scoring the tries.

With the footy complete and bodies battered, the lads quickly scrambled across Osaka and shambled into Coolah Bar. With the time ticking on nomihodai and the ovens alight, the boys began carousing and getting lit. Within an hour Miku was being used as an item of blunt force, Andy was pouring Jaeger down people's throats, and Aaron was drunkenly trying to reconstruct Minty’s knee using tape, positive thoughts, and numerous profanities. Between the Coolah Bar “Fucking Delicious Mess”, pies, and beers, the boys were happier than pigs in mud. When time ran out, a few of the lads opted to head for destination destruction: Maialino’s.

After a hop and a skip, the boys arrived at Maialino’s ready to see Japan kickoff versus Ireland. As the carnage began on TV, the boys were making their own poor decisions. With a certain player’s father in law dropping some money behind the bar, the drinks kept coming and coming. Eventually, as the union chaos continued to unfold, one of the lads summarily skulled a beer mixed with preworkout. After witnessing this act of heresy, the daring tourists decided it was time to call it a night.

We’d like to thank everyone who made this trip possible. The legendary hospitality of Andy, Kaminari, Minty, and Seizo will be remembered for years to come. Along with the many memes generated by spectator and player alike. Till the next one!

Written by Aaron Angelo

Abiko Ducks

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