My Day 8 update is a bit late. Had a busy day with early morning furniture delivery and then running errands, playing with the kids, etc.
My lead story is Ichinojo’s use of the fake-matta tactic. He’s used it successfully a few times, my favorite example was against Kisenosato, who, at the time, had a really slow tachiai. The process:
- He starts too early and bulls his way directly into the opponent,
- Bow to head judge,
- Push opponent’s head down and hopefully the body follows for an easy win.
I don’t know why Ichinojo (4-4) tried his fake-matta-then-dodge-head-push tactic against a much lighter, weaker, maegashira Tochiozan (3-5) but I’m happy it failed. Tochiozan showed great balance as he probably knew what was coming after the matta. He stayed on his feet, shrugged off the weak head push, and seemed to gain leverage and better position by being lower. Thus in better position, he then pushed Ichinojo across the ring and out. Hopefully that’s the end of this matta-dodge-head-push. Or Ichinojo might go for a belt grab and really finish off his opponent.
Kakuryu stays in the lead with a perfect 8-0 record, and still undefeated against Ikioi. Ikioi (1-7) will really need to step on it and garner some wins to avoid dropping back into the ranks of the maegashira. He really needed to pick up a few more in that first week but I’ve got my hopes that he’ll be able to sweep his lower ranked opponents this week.
Hakuho gets himself into a little unnecessary drama by giving Terunofuji an extra little shove in the back after the match…but with the win stays one back of Kakuryu. He leads the chase group that has been whittled down to Hak, Kisenosato, and Kyokutenho.
Harumafuji (6-2) downs Takekaze (1-7), getting some revenge from kinboshi he gave up back in July. Kisenosato (7-1) took out fellow ozeki Kotoshogiku, who at 3-5 is having a terrible tournament. Kisenosato was on the ropes as it were, but Kotoshogiku’s knee just couldn’t get the final drive over the straw bales. Giku’s knee is not up to it. Goeido’s record (4-4) has not been much better as he lost to Takayasu (5-3). Goeido quickly got a belt grip but seemingly didn’t know what to do with it as Takayasu, with leverage, just drove him back and out.