UMS handed a les­son in pos­ses­sion

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

Reid and Har­ri­son/Waikato Stud UMS 15 Hau­tapu 69

Dis­ap­point­ing would be the best way to de­scribe UMS’s Se­nior A home fix­ture at Bed­ford against Hau­tapu this week­end.

With progress been made each week, coaches Ge­orge Simp­kin and Dar­ryl Hughes were ex­pect­ing an im­proved per­for­mance from the UMS side.

The Di­rec­tional Drilling/ Pear­son En­gi­neer­ing Se­nior B’s played their best game of the sea­son and the crowd and spon­sors day par­tic­i­pants were buzzing.

With a few changes in the start­ing lineup, UMS be­gan well against the big­ger Hau­tapu pack and a pleas­ing sight was the good scru­mag­ing and bet­ter pos­ses­sion at the li­ne­out.

But what was to be­come cru­cial was the lack of first up and dom­i­nate tack­ling by the UMS team and Hau­tapu plugged that weak­ness through­out the day, un­til they seemed to be run­ning with ease through the de­fen­sive lines.

Hau­tapu be­gan the game with two quick tries and this again was a blue­print to the UMS start of each game, how­ever as scripted in the all the games to date UMS came back with two tries of their own.

With Hau­tapu ad­mit­ting that they tar­geted the spot tack­ling in the UMS back­line, this ini­tially played into UMS hands and al­lowed space on the out­sides.

With the space avail­able on the out­side, wingers Sam Brill and Sharman Emery got into the Hau­tapu red zone. Sam Brill scored his first try from a quick penalty tap and a great face ball from Michael Autridge from the ruck, and he dot­ted in the cor­ner.

On the back of more pos­ses­sion UMS then took con­trol of the match and some great ball to the backs saw Sam score his sec­ond try and this was con­verted by Ryan Tuhakaraina to take the score to 12-all.

With five min­utes re­main­ing UMS lacked a bit of judge­ment and this al­lowed two quick penal­ties, which Hau­tapu prof­ited by scor­ing two tries and took the half time score to 12-24.

All signs were that UMS were go­ing to com­pete bet­ter in the sec­ond half with a great start thanks to prop Lo­toa Ali­imatafitafi. He was sup­ported well by Michael Peters, who played his best game of the sea­son. This al­lowed UMS a penalty and it was slot­ted nicely by Sharman.

The match then changed as Hau­tapu were able to mod­ify their game plan and utilise the drift de­fence in the back­line, which put UMS into in­di­vid­ual mind­set in the mid­field with the out­sides been blocked.

Hau­tapu then tar­geted the rucks and mauls with vigour and pas­sion and this al­lowed plenty of turnovers and some good front foot ball.

An­other con­tribut­ing fac­tor was the loss of Cap­tain Alex Bradley and UMS then lost some di­rec­tion and com­po­sure, and the fi­nal 20 min­utes were all Hau­tapu.

There were some pleas­ing as­pect for UMS and Hau­tapu ac­knowl­edge that UMS showed a phys­i­cal game ex­pect­ing.

But Cap­tain Alex Bradley ad­mits we need to keep in the game and main­tain pos­ses­sion, as turnover’s are the ele­phant in the room that needs to change.

UMS face a chal­lenge over the Easter break, with away games to Otoro­hanga on Fri­day and Te Awa­mutu on Easter Mon­day.

UMS how­ever need to head the ad­vice of fa­mous Amer­i­can swim­mer and ac­tor, Johnny Weiss­muller, ‘‘with but few ex­cep­tions, it is al­ways the un­der­dog who wins through sheer willpower’’.

Player of the day points were 3 to Chris Cros­dale, 2 to Michael Peters and 1 to Sam Brill.

Game Points: Tries - Sam Brill (2), Con­ver­sion - Sharman Emery, Penalty - Ryan Tuhakaraina.

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