UMS hosts B teams of su­per rugby

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport/opinion -

The United Mata­mata Sports Club will host the Chiefs and Auck­land de­vel­op­ment teams this Fri­day evening at Bed­ford Park.

Kick­ing off at 5.30pm this will be a spe­cial op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal rugby fol­low­ers to see po­ten­tial Su­per Rugby play­ers in ac­tion in Mata­mata and will pro­vide a leadin to the Chiefs ver­sus Blues Su­per Rugby lo­cal derby clash at Waikato Sta­dium on Satur­day night.

The Chiefs De­vel­op­ment team is se­lected from the Chiefs Wider Train­ing Group play­ers and se­lected play­ers from the Chiefs re­gion Pro­vin­cial Unions; Coun­tiesManukau, Waikato and Bay of Plenty and pos­si­bly play­ers from the Chiefs Su­per Rugby squad, with a mix­ture of ex­pe­ri­enced and emerg­ing play­ers.

The Chiefs De­vel­op­ment team is coached by Chiefs’ re­source coach Kevin Schuler and Coun­ties-Manukau Steel­ers coach Mil­ton Haig with the as­sis­tance of Waikato coach Chris Gibbes and Bay of Plenty coach Sean Ho­ran.

Kevin Schuler said as a coach­ing staff they were en­joy­ing help­ing tal­ented play­ers take ad­van­tage of this ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to add to their de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘ I think

the

Chiefs’

de­velop- ment pro­gramme is an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity for the play­ers just be­low the Chiefs level to get some re­ally good rugby early in the sea­son, par­tic­u­larly play­ing first class games,’’ he said.

The Chiefs De­vel­op­ment team have played three matches this month against the vis­it­ing Tonga A, Fiji A and Samoa A teams.

They have walked away with strong wins against Tonga A win­ning 50-13 and Fiji A with a 25-10 score.

They had a nar­row Samoa A at 18-17.

Chiefs’ high per­for­mance man­ager Chris Tin­dall said: ‘‘ We are keen to have our Chiefs teams play across the Chiefs re­gion and build our con­nec­tion with our rugby com­mu­nity.’’

‘‘The United Mata­mata Sports Club ground and clu­b­rooms fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing the new field light­ing, pro­vide a great set up for do­ing so and we are look­ing for­ward to be­ing in Mata­mata for what should be a good match against the Blues de­vel­op­ment boys and en­joy­ing some time in the clu­b­rooms af­ter­wards.’’

A cur­tain raiser match be­tween Tri­dent High School from Whakatane and the Tri­tons from South Waikato Schools will kick off at 3.15pm.

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