Haru Day 6 Preview

Ugh, SumoDB is down again. I want to send them money so they can do what it takes to keep that thing solid and running well. As an operator of a sumo fan site, I know it can be a challenge when you have other high priority items to turn your attention to content, server tweaks, or just finding out what the hell went wrong. So I have nothing but gratitude for whomever runs that thing, its invaluable.

Today we start act 2, and in act 2 the purpose is to narrow the field to find out who has what it takes to compete for the yusho, and to start sorting the victors from the damned. We have a single man in Takayasu in the lead right now, but I fully expect someone to put dirt on him before the end of the middle weekend. It should not be that tough to do, as already on day 5 his form was slipping. Just behind we have 7 rikishi with 4-1 records, including both Sekiwake and an Ozeki. This will be a tough field for the yusho. I would also urge fans not to discount Terunofuji yet. Though I am assuming he is injured, if he is not, he can still be a force in the second week.

What We Are Watching Day 6

Kagayaki vs Tsurugisho – Today it’s Kagayaki up for a visit into the top division. He has been bouncing between the top of Juryo and the bottom of Makuuchi for the last year at least, and he really needs to get his sumo tightened up and pick. Meanwhile, Kagayaki does seem to have a good regulator on his sumo, and may be ready for a 5th win today, he holds a 4-1 career lead.

Kotoshoho vs Ichiyamamoto – Both of these guys are on a make-koshi path right now, and I worry they are already relegating Kotoshoho to the “loser bracket” that will keep him below the make-koshi line. He has a 1-4 career deficit against Ichiyamamoto, so the chances of him pulling even at 3-3 are not the best.

Nishikigi vs Yutakayama – This is a fun one, both of them are 3-2, and have a fairly long history in the top division with some trips to Juryo. they are very close in size and weight, and close to equal all around. Nishikigi prefers to go chest to chest, and Yutakayama prefers and oshi style, but has fairly good yotsu skill as well. This one has my interest.

Kotokuzan vs Chiyonokuni – First ever match for these two, and I have to say I would give the edge to Chiyonokuni right now. I think Kotokuzan’s higher mass will help him some when Chiyonokuni starts smacking him around, but unless he can respond to force with force, it’s just a matter of when.

Kotoeko vs Akua – I have to assume that Akua is in one of his cold phases. It’s disappointing to know that he is capable of some solid sumo, yet here we are at the start of act 2, and he has a 1-4 score. While it’s mathematically possible for him to finish with a kachi-koshi, in reality, it’s a long shot at best. He’s got a fair 3-4 record standing up to Kotoeko, who packs a lot of power into 177 cm.

Tochinoshin vs Chiyotairyu – If Tochinoshin holds to his current form, he will be brawling up a storm against Chiyotairyu. To be honest, I am not sure what the thunder-god is going to do in response to that. Maybe lower his head, battle hug the Georgian and just run pell-mell forward? Might be worth a try….

Myogiryu vs Chiyomaru – Sure, Chiyomaru has his first win now, and that’s fine news. He’s going to be working against Myogiryu, who is fighting very well this March. He has won 2 matches against larger opponents, and his manuverablity has been very good. So if he can keep his balance centered, he should do fine against Chiyomaru’s predictable pulling attacks.

Terutsuyoshi vs Aoiyama – A great big-man / little-man sumo contest. Big Dan has been bashing opponents with great effect, I think we can say that his ring rust is mostly behind him now, and that we can count on some power-sumo from him for the next 10 days or so. Terutsuyoshi is in a bit of a hole now with a 2-3 record, so I am looking for him to be a bit more adventurous with his combos. We know he has taken 6 of their prior 10 matches, and has a habit of putting Aoiyama on the clay.

Tobizaru vs Sadanoumi – Sadanoumi is having a bad tournament so far. This 1-4 record he brings into the start of act 2 is well below his abilities. Normally he’s better than Tobizaru, by a bunch. But with him fighting poorly, I would give my nod to the flying monkey. Both of them are very quick fighters, but Tobizaru has been fighting better thus far.

Takayasu vs Shimanoumi – Its your daily dose of Takayasu, once again nicely placed toward the middle of the torikumi. Do I think Shimanoumi has much of a chance? Only a narrow one, and he’s going to need to be at the top of his sumo to make it pay. We saw a bit of the “Bad Takayasu” on day 5 when he went “Wild Man” against Takarafuji. When that happens, he is out of control, un-balanced, and vulnerable. He Takayasu gets into that mode, Shimanoumi has an opening.

Wakamotoharu vs Okinoumi – First ever match, and I have to ponder what might be ailing Okinoumi. It’s true that he’s among the oldest rikishi in the top division, and he suffers from a chronic lower pelvic injury that sometimes limits his sumo. But normally you don’t see him end up with a ice cold 1-4 start. I do hope he can bounce back. I think Wakamotoharu’s really top drawer yotsu style will mean we have a fine display of Okinoumi’s favorite sumo moves.

Chiyoshoma vs Kotonowaka – The most important thing to know is the 7-1 career record of Kotonowaka over Chiyoshoma. I know Chiyoshoma will deploy at least 1 henka this tournament, but I am going to guess he may save it for later. Kotonowaka has a way to go before he reaches his ultimate sumo form, but he is evolving along nicely right now.

Hokutofuji vs Endo – 16 match history, tied at 8-8. Both rikishi with 3-2 scores. Both needing to rack more wins to put them safely outside of this weekend’s funnel. Oh goodie. Will the win go to Hokutofuji’s impossibly low center of gravity, or will Endo’s fast hands and quick throws come out on top. Great match for day 6.

Daieisho vs Takarafuji – Takarafuji is having one of his “bad” basho. He has had dreadful months where he has only been able to come up with 4 or 5 wins over 15 days, and this may be one of those tournaments. Given how well Daieisho is fighting, I don’t think Takarafuji is going to prevail today.

Ichinojo vs Ura – Back to the big man / little man paradigm. They are fairly even (3-2) on the clay, and it’s Ichinojo working grab and contain Ura vs Ura’s trademark grab and tug sumo. I think that if Ichinojo holds his ground for the first 20 seconds of the match, stays stable and lowers his center of gravity, Ura will be completely stumped on what to do.

Wakatakakage vs Takanosho – Mirror image records, Wakatakakage at 4-1, Takanosho at 1-4. Takanosho comes in with a 7-4 career advantage, but a dismal records so far in Osaka. I would give the edge today to Wakatakakage, who I think is actually going to content for the cup up until the start of act 3.

Hoshoryu vs Abi – Will Abi continue to mix up his sumo? Do we get another attack that starts with a double arm thrust and transitions into something else? I have maintained for years that with Abi-zumo 2.0, this guy is Ozeki or Yokozuna. I wonder if he is going to give it a go. A win today would be his first over Hoshoryu, who could use a win to improve his 2-3 record.

Kiribayama vs Takakeisho – Takakeisho, please blast this guy off of the dohyo. You need the wins, and he needs the air time. Much as I love me some Kiribayama (see day 5 highlights), We need more than one Ozeki in May.

Shodai vs Tamawashi – Shodai gets what may be his only win of the basho, then they send him to be tuned up by Tamawashi. Tamawashi is not fighting that well this tournament, but the fact that he does NOT suffer from long COVID, and holds a 10-8 career advantage sets the stage for what is likely to happen.

Meisei vs Mitakeumi – Mitakeumi has the size advantage to just dominate Meisei (7-2 against Meisei), if he can keep himself focused. On day 5, he let Kiribayama attack, either through sloppiness or a false belief that it would be impotent. Tragic under appreciation of his opponents sumo. I would guess that won’t happen again this March.

Terunofuji vs Onosho – We saw it again day 5. Terunofuji cannot hold position with some attack angles. If Onosho can get that opening and push, he can kinboshi Terunofuji for the second day in a row. Much as I love the junior tadpole, I would rather see the Yokozuna maintain his dominance.

4 thoughts on “Haru Day 6 Preview

  1. I agree – for as much as we all use it, I feel like a Patreon where we can all just contribute a couple dollars a month or whatever towards server costs would be a complete game changer

    Some of us spend as much time on there as Netflix!

    We are so grateful for that resource, it would be amazing to get it to a better place

  2. “I have maintained for years that with Abi-zumo 2.0, this guy is Ozeki or Yokozuna.” Definitely agree with this. Abi has looked different since returning to makuuchi. Stronger, more focused, more determined to fulfil his potential. His oshi-zumo looks stronger and it’s been good to see him vary his kimarite e.g. the kotenage victory. If he maintains this form, he could be ozeki within the next year. Abi v Hoshoryu should be a great match.

    Wakatakakage, Takayasu, Mitakeumi, Kiribayama all having great basho – good to see rikishi with great yotsu/nage techniques around the top of the leaderboard.

    Sad to hear about Terunofuji’s kyujo, and sad to watch Shodai’s performances seemingly hampered by the long covid, though it’s admirable that he’s turning up each day and giving it all to protect his rank.

    Looking forward to the second act of the basho.

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