Let’s get Dirty
With the World Cup Rugby coming to Japan in a few months time, Hakuba hosted its first tambo rugby tournament.
Tambo is the Japanese word for rice paddy. The game of tambo rugby is relatively new to Japan being first played in 2015. The tambos are flooded with water with mud replacing the grass that you would normally see on a rugby ground.
Teams of 4 from Hakuba, the surrounding area as well as from Yokohama made up the tournament’s groupings. The game was played in the touch rugby style with a two handed touch making a tackle. 1 point for a try, 2 points for a diving try and double points for kids and ladies.
Representing the Hakuba Huskies, this editor was joined with a couple of kiwis and an Australian. With a combined age being a total of 200 years, it was definitely going to be interesting and a lot of hard work.
The Huskies first game was against a team of ladies representing Mountain Cross. These ladies were super fit and not a walkover as one would expect. The Huskies took the win, but believe you me, it wasn’t easy.
Next, the Huskies came against the Azumino Rugby Club. Now, this was a game to behold. Great passing down the lines by both teams, and with the flankers taking the tries it was tied at the end of the normal time. Sudden death with the first one to score winning, saw the Huskies being unable to turnover the ball and sadly loosing.
Wins over Evergreen Outdoor Center and a mixed kids and adults team took the Huskies to the semi final against the Yokohama Country Club. This was a fiercely close battle that was getting a little heated, though with the good use of the subs, the team from Yokohama came through in the sudden death. The Huskies didn’t look too dejected, I don’t think they had another game in them.
The final was won by the Hakuba All Blacks. Will their namesakes be on the trophy on November 2nd when the final of the World Cup will be played in Tokyo.
A huge shout out to Ian Miller of the Panorama Hotel and Taproom for organizing the first and hopefully many more tambo rugby tournaments.