Costly, lower league play holds team back
UMS Reid and Harrison Yardmaster Pumps Senior A 3 Te Awamutu Sports 55
If there was one word to describe the United Matamata Sports match at Bedford Park against premier side Te Awamutu Sports it was frustration.
Under great playing conditions UMS were expected to make this contest an even affair.
For those who saw the game they could honestly say in most parts it was an even contest, but unfortunately the scoreboard didn’t reflect the way UMS played.
Te Awamutu Sports, being a premier team, were expected to dominate in the set pieces but it was UMS who dominated those facets of the game.
What cost UMS was the better organised and slicker paced backline of Te Awamutu.
Right from the starting whistle the game was certainly a faster paced game. UMS began the better team and were unlucky not to score after five minutes with a well worked move and winger Sam Brill got close.
This was the theme of the day for UMS. So many chances to score but a mixture of desperate and organised defence from Te Awamutu combined with a lack of finishing for UMS meant there would be no tries for the home side.
Another frustrating part of the entire game was the officials interpretation at the ruck, which was hard to understand for the supporters and more so for the players.
Each time UMS gained possession Te Awamutu played to the referee and either infringed or put their hands in the ruck, creating turnovers and ultimately scoring points.
After the game, captain Alex Bradley said he was disappointed at this part of the game however, he recognised that UMS needed to take this as part of the game and learn from their frustrations.
However, UMS can take most of the responsibility of the score being almost out of reach by halftime after a number of players didn’t make first tackles.
In the 1st division they may have got away with this, but playing a premier side with pace all over the backline and support play, this was costly.
Te Awamutu gained an advantage with 10 minutes to go in the half when they were only 3-17 ahead, but two costly mistakes by UMS allowed two easy tries to take the halftime score to 3-29.
Coach George Simpkin willed his players at the halftime break to get back in the contest and to take their chances when on offer.
UMS again began the second half the stronger of the two teams. But in almost a blueprint of the first half when possession was turned over for whatever reason, Te Awamutu had the support and speed to run in several good second half tries.
UMS had numerous chances at scoring points but the finishing lacked some polish. They deserved to score but that is the way rugby goes sometimes.
A player to shine for UMS in the forwards was outstanding prop Josh Gibbs, who dominated his opposition all game.
Sean Tuhakaraina again excelled in his new position as lock both in the tight and loose.
The loose trio of Alex Bradley, Chris Cawker and Andrew Martin were certainly as good if not better than their opponents.
In the backs Tavita Latau played well against his Chiefs opposition Robbie Fruean in the centres and Jamie McIntyre showed direct running and the outsides of Raymond Tuhakaraina and Sam Brill had their moments of brilliance.
UMS look to take stock before their next game against neighbours Hinuera this weekend with the winner almost guaranteed a promotion in 2015.
This week’s game showed UMS has what it takes even though the score didn’t reflect their efforts.
Directional Drilling/Pearson Engineering Senior B’s had a great win 43-12 over Hinuera in the curtain raiser and will now look to go back to back in the final against Taupiri which is also away.
Points Scorers: Pen