Hard contest goes down to the wire
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.
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