Bruce is nursing an ugly cold, so just the basics for today’s highlight post. No changes to the leaderboard as the top men all take their matches. The funnel is running quite well at the moment, and I predict a good crop of 7-7 rikishi on day 15, including some famous names.
Daiamami defeats Aoiyama – In spite of his loss, Aoiyama looked better today in terms of power and movement than he has all basho. He puts up a solid fights against Daiamami as the two trade thrusting attacks. But a missed slap by Aoiyama followed by a quick slap down by Daiamami gave him the match, he improves to 5-4 and returns to Juryo.
Kotonowaka defeats Tochinoshin – Tochinoshin established his preferred left hand outside against Kotonowaka early, but then for some reason gave it up. What followed was a series of pulling attempts from Tochinoshin that left him jumping backwards out of the ring. Kotonowaka improves to 7-2.
Oho defeats Yutakayama – This match was all Yutakayama until his attempt at a finishing move with Oho at the bales fell apart. Oho rallied and surged forward, dispatching Yutakayama with a sukuinage, sending him over the bales. Oho improves to 6-3.
Kaisei defeats Chiyomaru – Kaisei closed the distance to Chiyomaru, and kept the big Kokenoe man at his chest. Normally Chiyomaru wants to get to the side or behind Kaisei in these matches, but Kaisei pined him to the front quadrant and walking him out with power. Kaisei improves to 5-4.
Kotoeko defeats Chiyotairyu – Chiyotairyu opened fast and powerful, and was clearly going for a “stand him up / pull him down” attack. His pull failed, and that gave control of the match to Kotoeko. He took a double inside grip against Chiyotairyu, and drove him from the ring. Kotoeko improves to 7-2, his next win will bring him kachi-koshi.
Ishiura defeats Tsurugisho – Great match plan by Ishiura. He hits and immediately moves to Tsurugisho’s left side, getting a left hand inside grip. He pauses for a moment to consolidate his position, then unleashes a twisting hineri that sends Tsurugisho to the clay in a heap. Ishiura improves to 5-4.
Wakamotoharu defeats Terutsuyoshi – Wakamotoharu captures Terutsuyoshi early, and it looks like Terutsuyoshi had zero response ready to this situation. Wakamotoharu walks him back, and puts him across the bales for the win. Wakamotoharu improves to 5-4.
Sadanoumi defeats Chiyonokuni – No, today was not the day that Chiyonokuni won his first match of Hatsu. Chiyonokuni gets in exactly one combo, which was off balance enough that Sadanoumi gets behind him and shoves him out for a win. I do have to wonder if Chiyonokuni is going for a zenpai now. I mean you have gotten it to 9-0, why not take it all the way? Sadanoumi 5-4.
Tobizaru defeats Ichiyamamoto – An Ichiyamamoto pull down attempt on the 3rd exchange of thrusts threw this match away. Up to that point, he was holding his own against Tobizaru, and could probably worn him down, and gotten him off balance while Tobizaru was on the move. Instead, its Tobizaru with the win, improving to 5-4.
Takarafuji defeats Akua – Look at how efficient Takarafuji’s sumo is today. I doubt he took more than 10 steps to get that win. Akua tries his kakenage and Takarafuji puts him down, improving to 7-2. Akua picks up his 8th loss and is make-koshi.
Abi defeats Myogiryu – Abi lands a couple of hits, but Myogiryu responds in kind, and with excess power. This was probably part of the plan to begin with. Now that Myogiryu is dialed up to maximum energy, Abi steps to the side, sending Myogiryu plunging down. Abi improves to 7-2.
Chiyoshoma defeats Shimanoumi – Chiyoshoma has to the favorite rikishi of the funnel, as he is very much in the win one / lose one tempo most tournaments. He sails a straight path right on the make / kachi-koshi line most basho, and that’ what Darwin’s funnel is all about. Offensively, it was all Chiyoshoma today, who landed a couple of thrusting combos, then delivered a nice under shoulder swing down (katasukashi) to improve to 4-5.
Hoshoryu defeats Endo – Endo showed his greater experience and years of training early. He shut down Hoshoryu’s route to thrust center mass, and robbed him of any meaningful hold. Points to Hoshoryu, who stayed in the match and improvised well. He got to the side of Endo an cranked up the power, sending him on a one way trip to his 7th loss. Hoshoryu improves to 6-3.
Ichinojo defeats Ura – Once Ichinojo captured Ura, the match was basically won. I think Ura took a while to try and figure out what if anything he could do from underneath the Boulder. But really there was nothing for it. What I take exception with was that shove by Ichinojo after the match was already won that sent Ura to visit one of the NHK camera men in the crowd. Bad form, sir. Ichinojo improves to 5-4.
Wakatakakage defeats Tamawashi – Its an amazing thing, Wakatakakage has never lost to Tamawashi. I am not sure why this would be the case, but here we are again today. Wakatakakage gets his hands inside against Tamawashi’s chest, and uses them to push him around and then out. Wakatakakage improves to 4-5.
Kiribayama defeats Daieisho – Daieisho’s opening thrust attacks missed their marks, leaving him wide open for Kiribayama to take whatever hold he wanted. With Kiribayama at his chest, Daieisho really had very little offense to employ, and was at that point just along for the ride. They both end the day at 3-6.
Takanosho defeats Onosho – Onosho is able to get a couple of solid hits to land, but Takanosho stays in the match and works to bracket him. By the 3rd step, Takanosho has Onosho pinned down with a superb hazu-oshi, and starts walking him back, taking the win a moment later as Onosho crosses over the tawara. Takanosho improves to 5-4.
Mitakeumi defeats Okinoumi – Yet again we get a Mitakeumi express rip through the station at full throttle. Okinoumi was barely a speed bump as the Original Tadpole rushed westward, taking his opponent with him. A perfect 9-0 for Mitakeumi now.
Meisei defeats Shodai – Shodai, you puss bucket. Shodai had a strong start, although his typical crummy tachiai was evident. Shodai even trotted out the “Wall of Daikon” for a moment, and it was working well. But then Meisei quips, “Nawh, not today, mate!”, shifts his balance and puts Shodai out. Both end the day at 4-5. That’s only the second time Meisei has won over Shodai in 10 attempts. Shows you where Shodai is on his relative genki scale…. Oh, then the gyoji blows the call. Perfect match.
Terunofuji defeats Hokutofuji – Well, good effort by Hokutofuji. We get to see him do a number of his favorite things, including that right hand nodowa. I am sure it hurt, but Terunofuji did not let it impact his sumo. While Hokutofuji is busy with that useless right hand nodowa, in comes the Yokozuna’s left hand and connects with Hokutofuji’s mawashi. The rest of the match is Terunofuji trying to get his right hand grip as well. After a few minutes, he decides he’s not going to get it, and unleashes a throw instead. Hokutofuji hits the clay as Terunofuji picks up his 8th win and is kachi-koshi for Hatsu.