Hard con­test goes down to the wire

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

McPher­son Con­trac­tors Hin­uera 18 Leamington 22

Played at home on Weal­leans Park, the gold and blacks con­tested might­ily against op­po­nents who have lost only one game.

Cou­pled with that was a lop­side penalty count, es­pe­cially in the first half.

De­spite this, Hin­uera were first on the board in the first minute when Dwayne Un­der­wood scored from an in­ter­cepted pass to race 25 me­tres. Toby O’Reilly con­verted, Hin­uera 7-0.

Leamington then dom­i­nated the half, starv­ing the hosts of pos­ses­sion and ter­ri­tory by at least 70 per cent. So it was no sur­prise when the vis­i­tors dot­ted down in the 10th minute. Un­der­wood put off the kicker, Hin­uera 7-5.

Leamington were us­ing wide cutout passes to threaten Hin­uera’s line but it was cour­tesy of for­ward power where the next points came from, a pushover try, Leamington 10-7. O’Reilly was just wide with a penalty in in­jury time. Straight af­ter the break Hin­uera strung six phases to­gether, only to be thwarted with a for­ward pass. Turn over ball proved costly when Leamington scored their third try from a maul, 15-7.

O’Reilly

brought

the mar­gin back to five with a penalty two min­utes later, Leamington 15-10. Leamington’s kick off was lam­en­ta­ble but Hin­uera’s guard­ing of the ball at a ruck was worse. The vis­i­tors reached in, se­cured the ball to score a run­away and bonus point try.

In­cred­i­bly, they also man­aged their first suc­cess­ful kick, Leamington 22- 10 at the 10th minute. The pace of the match was telling on both sets of for­wards. When a scrum was called in the 15th minute it was no­tice­able all 16 play­ers walked to the mark.

Hin­uera’s pres­sure paid div­i­dends when Un­der­wood scored his sec­ond try in the 25th minute from a set piece, Leamington 22-15.

Jared McNaughton slot­ted a penalty at the 28th minute, 22-18 Leamington.

Hin­uera wouldn’t lie down but were pe­nalised in a ruck/maul sit­u­a­tion for not re­leas­ing the ball. Hin­uera des­per­ately tried to score the win­ning try but ‘twas not to be.

Hooker Tait Payze was player of the day. B’s lost nar­rowly 8- 5 while the Colts pre­vented a white wash, beat­ing Marist White 29-19.

Next week away to Pu­taruru.

On Satur­day, those play­ing fan­tasy league rugby would have picked Waikato premier­ship com­pe­ti­tion lead­ers Otoro­hanga over UMS at Bed­ford Park, who are bot­tom of the ta­ble.

Up un­til the fi­nal min­utes those pun­ters would have been wor­ried about their se­lec­tion, as UMS played their best game of the sea­son and were un­lucky not to come away with the win.

On a crisp, sunny, au­tumn day open run­ning rugby was the or­der of the day.

Right from the start UMS took the game to Otoro­hanga. Pos­ses­sion, good in­ter­play be­tween the backs and the for­wards and hard­nosed run­ning at the de­fence al­lowed UMS a try at the fifth minute to prop Sailosi Baleisolomone. Otoro­hanga then replied with a try at the 10 minute mark.

For the re­main­der of the half UMS play­ers and sup­port­ers couldn’t be­lieve that 17 penal­ties to 1 in favour of Otoro­hanga would fol­low. The only time UMS had pos­ses­sion it seemed was from restarts.

As a re­sult of this Otoro­hanga scored a fur­ther three tries, two off which were one on one missed tack­les.

At half time coaches Simp­kin and Hughes im­plored their team to take the of­fi­cial out of the game and con­cen­trate on the game plan they had put in place.

The sec­ond half was all UMS and as the game pro­gressed you

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