Rugby World Cup 2019 – NZ v England: Like watching non All Blacks game

On Friday I chatted to English customers at work talking about rugby. But I forgot about the Saturday’s big game and saw a hostel bar broadcasting the live game while I was walking to a hairdresser 50 minutes prior to the match.


Last month my old friend Oliver came over here for the Rugby World Cup with his girlfriend. We watched Australia versus Wales at a darts bar.


I could go there, but didn’t like beep sounds from darts machines, so walked on a street in the city centre of Kyoto finding another pub.


Finding one place, I only saw Japanese people that I was disappointed because I wanted to talk to All Blacks supporters (I am an All Blacks supporter as a person who has lived in New Zealand for four years. Even I want All Blacks to win when they face Japan!).


Then another pub had already got loads of western customers. I got in, but majority of their customers were English. Three South African guys and a French family were there too.


When I sit in a bar, chair’s legs were out of the floor, and a lovely couple talked to me. But I have no idea where they were from.


Foods and drinks were so expensive and a foreign owner of the pub didn’t look nice. Their service was not good sadly, but I was there just for the rugby.


It was hard for me to share my passions of supporting All Blacks and to talk to other patrons. I was  only one individual customer.


All Blacks’s haka was strong as usual and I sense they are warriors. I had been unaware of England responded with forming V until Sunday when I saw it on Facebook.


England’s response became true on field. They scored the first try only within two minutes after kick off. My opponents ran, passed and kicked so fast.


Further two points were awarded as a conversion for England.


England dominated well and people around me cheered and clapped hands hard. New Zealand couldn’t push forward.


I was barely in the part of the group at the pub.


Later in first half, England scored a penalty kick. The score was All Blacks 0 England 10.


Meanwhile a young western woman came in the bar on her own and sat in a big table in front of a big screen.


When I was in a queue for the loo, she smiled and we started talking. She supports All Blacks too. Asking where she is from, her response was Melbourne and I found out she was a Richmond supporter. I congratulated her on the 2019 premiership.


After finishing my business, I joined her for the second half. Then she told me that she was born in the US and had been living in Melbourne for 10 years. She had started supporting our favourite All Blacks before she moved to Melbourne.


Thanks to our great team work, All Blacks have scored a try eventually. A conversion kick followed.


We both hoped All Blacks would score more tries.


But England fought hard. Running fast and tackling hard.


All Blacks had opportunities to score more points, but they had difficulty in pushing hard on England defense’s wall. And England made turn overs too.


Instead England scored three penalty kicks in second half.


The match was unlikely All Blacks one. Atmosphere of the pub was the reflection of the game.


It was a very disappointing game but I enjoyed the company with the Tigers woman. At the end she said I should switch to Richmond, but I turned the offer down. I am a Saint forever.


England 19 (Manu Tuilagi try; Owen Farrell con, George Ford 4 pen) All Blacks 7 (Ardie Savea try; Richie Mo’unga con). HT: 10-0


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you really enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE


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.

Leave a Comment