Almanac Rugby: Rugby and Footy in a Single Day

Osaka Dingoes had a Rugby’n Footy Day on Sunday, 4 November.


Discounted rugby match tickets had been provided by our Treasure, Yaz. The match was in the Top Challenging League (Division deciding competition) on the Japanese company rugby clubs’ league, played by Kintetsu Liners and NTT Docomo Hurricanes.


It was sunny and warm but quite windy on the game day. The venue was called Hanazono Rugby Stadium, the famous one in Japanese rugby.


The stadium had been refurbished for the up coming Rugby World Cup in 2019, and it was the first game for the Liners to play at their home stadium after the refurbishment.


Thanks to the modern technology, train trips there went smoothly for the first visitors (my teammate Alby who lives in Kyoto and myself).


Only one gate was open and the queue was formed like spiral. We wondered how spectators would enter into the rugby stadium next year at the World Cup.


Dingoes who attended the game turned up after 1.45 pm and got tickets in a tent. And then we were at the long queue to get inside.


Entering into then Etihad Stadium (now Marvel Stadium) in the MRV Match on 20 July was much easier.


More than ten years have passed since I had watched the previous rugby game at Eden Park in Auckland (then Air New Zealand Cup, the domestic rugby competition).


We split into two groups – those with families and individuals, and sat at the Southern End.


I forgot the basic rule and young Harry told me that players were able to run and kick forwards and kicking had to be done backwards.


Scrambles, pushes and tackles are the most common actions on the rugby field. I sensed the rugby was more defensive, compared with AFL footy.


Two tries in a row were scored by the Hurricanes (one and 16 minutes). Other Dingoes were happy as they had met Hurricanes in a bar before.


Liners were offensive in the 29-minute. Expat players combined of runs and passes in the goal square. Masirewa scored the first try for the Liners.


At the 40th minute, Australian player, Stolberg scored a try for the Liners and then the conversion was scored.


The first half finished at 14-12, scored two tries each team.


It was time for Harry and me to get foods and drinks. We headed towards the West Isle for a food stall, but the queue was very long and it moved so slow.


Some spectators gave up purchasing any food or beverage leaving the queue. We were patient but I was not impressed. We had no problem for half time beer at Docklands at the St Kilda-Richmond game.


Only three girls were at the front of the venue and one guy cooked chips and other foods. How shortage staffing was. We wondered how catering services would serve big volumes of spectators next year. I have been heard that food arrangements had been made for the Rugby World Cup.


Japan is said to be a country that offers the good services, but the services at the rugby match were unimpressive. And foods and beverages were overpriced. Hanazono Stadium seemed to have less efforts on offering reasonable food and beverage prices, compared with MCG and Marvel Stadium. Explain please, Hanazono Stadium!


Thanks to the slow food and beverage purchases, we missed seeing four tries after the last half. I was not happy.


All I saw in the last half was defensive match. Only throw in, catches, scrambles and tackles.


At the end of the match, Liners tried to score a try, but the routines of runs, tackles and throws continues endlessly.


The kicking away ended the game with the final whistle. Liners won at 28-24.


Rugby is more congested and tough, compared with footy. It was a good game, but I admit I prefer AFL footy.


We all enjoyed the different sport code, and then the individual group headed into the neighbouring sport ground for footy training, while players coming with families walked around the park for a while and went home.


We ran around the field with bounces, did kick to kick and played a handball game.


I was advised how to take a mark overhead and the drill went well.


The handball game was done by two teams (two players per team) who handpassed towards the partner. The handpass journeys were made at 180 degrees difference. When two footies hit, receivers had to catch as soon as possible to get a score. It was hard for me to catch, but I had fun.


It was a fun day at Hanazono Rugby Stadium. I wish I could play more footy games. Unfortunately the last opportunity to the tournament in 2018 has gone because the ground was unable to be secured. I am sad about it because of my passions and needs to more experiences.


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About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. Great stuff, Yoshi.
    I am curious…do you follow the Sunwolves, who now play in the Super Rugby competition? I am not sure that I have heard you mention them previously.

    By the way, if the food and beverage prices were bad in comparison to Melbourne’s, they must have been expensive indeed!

  2. G’day Smokie,

    Thanks for your comment and my apology to get back to you very late!

    I don’t follow rugby match these days compared with while was living in New Zealand. Japanese rugby is not fancied for me, to be honest. I still support the Wellington Hurricanes in the Super Rugby competition.

    What I meant about the food prices was that they were not reasonable priced. Expensive on the portion of foods. The stadium took advantages from patrons.



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