Cellar dwellers UMS give Otorohanga a tough game
UMS Reid and Harrison/Waikato Stud 17 Otorohanga 27
could feel an upset on the cards.
All over the field UMS dominated the set phases and Otorohanga fell off tackles. UMS finally received a penalty on the 54th minute, which resulted in rapturous applause from the crowd.
This had a direct effect on the game and had away supporters scratching their heads, wondering why UMS were so far down the table.
This also was helped by the injection from a fresh bench, with replacements Lotoa Aliimatafitafi and Rewiti Vaimoso. Aliimatafitafi in particular allowed outstanding lock Michael Peters the ability to challenge the lineouts. He took three opposition throws in a row that allowed UMS pressure and possession. Jamie McIntyre scored the first of his tries from slick passing and effort on the 57th minute mark.
The kickoff was crucial and UMS gathered this and attacked Otorohanga from all over the park. With the added possession from lineouts and dominant scrum, UMS got into opposition territory and with composure at rucks, McIntyre secured his second try which was neatly converted from the sideline by Ryan Tuhakaraina.
With the score at 17-22 with 10 minutes remaining, Otorohanga were under pressure.
With added possession UMS had an opportunity to take the game with a break out from their 22 orchestrated by Vaimoso.
Otorohanga then secured the ball and used it well in the final moments, scoring a great try in the corner.
With minutes remaining UMS led by Alex Bradley and Aliimatafitafi took the direct route looking for the bonus point try. They just fell short with the game ending 17-27.
UMS were buoyed by the performance. After the game, Bradley said the team were awesome and he was so proud of the boys.
Players to impress certainly began with McIntyre, assisted by the slick and exciting inside combination of Tuhakaraina and Sharman Emery.
In the forwards everyone played their part. Having fresh reserves certainly added to the performance and once possession was allowed, the pack looked like a team that didn’t belong at the bottom of the table.
Coach Darryl Hughes knew it was one that got away, but after the whistle UMS took some time away from the field and the coaches sung their praises for their efforts.
If UMS had to take a template of a team that struggled in their first five years in the premier grade it was Otorohanga, but with the support of the community and remaining as a premier team, great things can be achieved.
UMS host Te Awamutu next weekend.
Point Scorers: Tries: Jamie McIntyre 2, Sailosi Baleisolomone, Con: Ryan Tuhakaraina