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Haru 2023 Day Ten




Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.


Yusho Arasoi

10 wins 19 Maegashira #5 West Midorifuji


8 wins 07 Komusubi #1 West Kotonowaka 08 Komusubi #2 East Daieisho 20 Maegashira #6 East Endo



Notable Maneuvers

Waridashi. Midorifuji beat Tobizaru with the rare "upper arm force out." It's so rare because the attacker needs to square up on an opponent's bicep well enough to shove them out with one hit. That is the type power of Midorifuji displayed on Day Ten.


Match of the Day

38 Maegashira #15 East Hokuseiho versus 25 Maegashira #8 West Ura

Rather predictably, this match started with Ura going low and sending Hokuseiho somewhat vertical. Yet both men were in an extremely awkward position, because Hokuseiho was able to lean on Ura with a left hand outside grip but Ura had a left hand grip that pinned Hokuseiho's right arm. Then the fun began. Ura backed up Hokuseiho then Hokuseiho resisted and turned the match around. It looked like Ura might be twisted down until he attempted a throw that almost worked. Hokuseiho got back to center and now they were in a sideways dual mawashi grip. Although Hokuseiho never overwhelmed Ura, his size and strength proved too much in the end.


Recap

The most consequential match of the day occurred in the penultimate matchup. Hoshoryu withstood Daieisho's thrusts and grabbed a hold for an easy and dominant yorikiri. Since Midorifuji waridashi-ed Tobizaru a few matches before, Daieisho fell two off the lead from 10-0 Midorifuji. That made Midorifuji not just a leader or a favorite, but someone who will have to have a significant fall to lose this yusho.

He absolutely still could have that kind of fall. On Day Eleven, Midorifuji will face Komusubi Wakamotoharu. That matchup likely means Midorifuji will only face Sanyaku men from here on out. In some order, his final four opponents probably should be Hoshoryu, Kiribayama, Kotonowaka, and Daieisho. That's about as tough as slate as sumo can do right now with Terunofuji and Takakeisho competing. Midorifuji isn't going to coast to the yusho, although going 3-2 over the final five days means he gets at least a playoff.

The discussion on Midorifuji's possible schedule is caveated above because he could lose the next two or Endo could keep winning. Endo is sitting at 8-2 with the Komusubi duo of Kotonowaka and Daieisho. He'll see Hoshoryu on Day Eleven, and he probably needs a similar schedule to Midorifuji over the final few days. Endo already lost to Midorifuji on Day Six, so they will only see each other again in a playoff. So if Endo keeps winning, but the Sanyaku wrestlers are the ones to put dirt on Midorifuji, the schedulers will have a time winnowing the leaderboard.

Kotonowaka and Daieisho are in the fortunate position of being able to make their own luck over the last few days. They also have already faced off, with Daieisho getting the win on Day Six. Daieisho still needs to see Kiribayama and Tobizaru, but has otherwise seen his possible Sanyaku opponents. Kotonowaka has not seen either Wakatakakage or Wakamotoharu. Those possibilities cry out for battles with Endo and Midorifuji. Yet on Day Eleven Daieisho sees Takayasu, while Kotonowaka faces Hokutofuji.

For obvious reasons, sumo's schedulers want the most exciting possible Day Fifteen they can. With a two match lead, Midorifuji could wrap things up before the final day. Or he falls on Days Eleven and Twelve, making the yusho race wide open and delivering a great ending. Those days often feel like a setup for the real consequential action on the final weekend. Watch carefully with these next two days, because everything could be decided then.
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