Rugby Trip in Southern California!

Rugby Trip in Southern California!

One of widely admired rugby mottos is “Saturday is a Rugby Day!” On July 1, 2017, we floored it with fellow teammates on the 405 and 5 freeways to catch a Rugby World Cup Qualifier match between the US and Canada at Torero Stadium, University of San Diego. It was supposed to be a two –hour drive, but unfortunately, it took us almost three hours to drive from L.A. to get there due to holiday weekend busy traffic. Nonetheless, it was worth it! It was such a wonderful (and scorching hot!) Southern California Summer Sunshine day as we occasionally felt a slightly mellow sea breeze from the picturesque Pacific Ocean. The stadium and its surrounding area is so serenely beautiful and the atmosphere was very friendly and energetic. The host clearly planned diligently for this event as there was plenty of staff to control traffic, secure parking spaces, manage restrooms, handle security measures and support designated alcohol drinkers’ area, etc. We ran into a lot of rugby compadres. We had not seen some of them for a long time. You just can’t experience such unique comradery bonding action anywhere else. It was truly enjoyable to watch a game in such a loving and welcoming euphoric environment. Everybody in the enthusiastic crowd looked brimming with joy!

In the first half, it was an even battle as if both teams were playing like a tightly close game in the first Qualifier match a week before (it was a 28-28 tie in Ontario, Canada). Please don’t underestimate team Canada. They are a decent steadfast team and have never missed the World Cup since the inception of the event in 1987. However, in the second half, as the game progressed and the air began to shimmer more densely with the heat, the more confident, disciplined and determined U.S. team finally began erupting with several giant shoves at full gallop in combination with dynamic airplay, and scored several tries consecutively. Their desire to get a ticket to fly over the Pacific Ocean in 2019 to Japan must’ve ignited them and the American team dominated for much of the rest of the game. Similarly, their insatiable appetite must’ve permeated the entire team, triggering the appropriate synaptic connection and they piled up more scores. There was no way for the U.S. to lose in such a life and death crucial game on their home field in front of such a loud zealous crowd of devoted fans. Besides, this would be the U.S. Captain, the most decorated American player, Todd Clever’s final match in the Eagles jersey. In the past, Todd has played for NTT Communications Shining Arcs and Suntory Sungoliath in Top League in Japan. He also played for North Harbour in NPC (National Provincial Championship), New Zealand, for the Lions (South Africa) in Super Rugby, and for Newcastle in Premiership in England. Wow, he is truly an International Player! A few years ago, when Japan’s national team played the U.S. for the test match in Los Angeles, I had a rare privilege of interviewing him. He is such a nice friendly guy. We talked about our ambitions of realizing both Japan and the U.S. beating All Blacks in the near future and definitely within our life time! No more dreaming! No antics! This will happen for sure!

I was also extremely grateful to see Andrew Durutalo, superb Flanker, playing. He was born in NY to Fijian parents, and went to Hakuoh University in Japan. He also played for the Sunwolves for their first season. At any event, the U.S. creamed Canada convincingly claiming their trophy for glory! Having demonstrated their fine performance solidly, the U.S definitely earned their bragging rights. We were all elated by the sportsmanship and athleticism of both teams. The field must’ve been boiling hot like a BBQ grill. All the spectators gave them a great round of thunderous applause with standing ovation. We’re blissful that we’ll have twice as much fun for the World Cup!

USA Eagles 52-16 Canada
As a result of the memorable triumph, the U.S. will be in Pool C, which is actually the toughest one, as well call it, “a group of Death.”


Interesting enough, Canada still has a chance to qualify for a spot in Pool D if they beat Uruguay in two test matches (home and away) in January and February of 2018. So, Canada may actually end up being in a less competitive group.

(One more: Americas 2)

Before the game started while hovering for our seats, my teammate Yoshi spotted several players of the U.S.A. Women’s Eagles near the foyer in the stand and I was very lucky to be able to take a picture with them. They were all very nice, friendly, jaunty, genuine and at the same time gracious. They were all smiling affably then, but when they are on the pitch, they battle like tigers, eagles, and vigorous tenacious Wonder Women! They had a game after the U.S. vs. Canada match. The U.S.A. Women’s Eagles beat the first Women’s Premier League All-Stars, 50-0. Let’s root for them! The Women’s Rugby World Cup will take place next month, August, in Ireland.

Women’s Eagles

Hope Rogers (Prop), Kimber Rozier (Fly-half), Sara Parsons (Flanker, NO.8) and Abby Gustaitis (Lock). They are all bright and talented key players!

In conclusion, our shared mantra of “Saturday is a Rugby Day!” was faithfully accomplished with the testament of heavy sunburn on my face, arms, and neck. Also, my hoarse voice barely registered and my reddish palms were fairly sore after the game since I cheered so loudly and hi-fived so often every time the U.S. scored. It was so much fun and we just can’t help but continue our rugby endeavor…


短編映画『サムライ・セールスマン』 日本語字幕付

短編映画『モーメント・カフェ』 日本語字幕付

  • 2017/07/29(土) 07:23:00










1999年春、短編「モーメント・カフェ」がヒューストン・ワールドフェスト映画祭で金賞受賞。2000年2月初長編スリラー映画「Cruel Game」DVD全米リリース(ユニバーサル)。「エンジェルゲーム」DVD日本マーケットリリース(D’s Gate)。「Deception」海外40ケ国配給中。

SAG-AFTRA(全米俳優協会)会員。俳優として、映画『硫黄島からの手紙』(市丸少将役)、ヒストリー・チャンネルTV戦争ドラマ『ザ・ラスト・ミッション』(井田中佐役)、映画『The Final: The Rapture』(ジャーナリスト役)などに出演。

監修書に『ハリウッドを笑い飛ばせ! 映画が面白くなる業界ウラ話』(小学館集英社プロダクション、2012年)、訳著に『パワー・オブ・フィルム 名画の法則』(キネマ旬報社、共訳、2010年)。2015 年、短編小説電子書籍『ネオ昭和青春ノベル・シリーズ』(全5シリーズ全10話)が知玄舎から配信。


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