Donnybrook erupts to conclude close match
McPherson Contractors Hinuera 24, Te Awamutu Marist 26
Played away at Castleton Park, Hinuera suffered its second successive loss in a row, going down to a team more committed at Te Awamutu.
Despite scoring four tries to three, the gold and blacks made far too many errors.
Two players in particular were guilty of basic mistakes, despite their longevity. Jonathon McGurk muffed two kickoff takes, while Benji Olesen muffed a certain try when his elbow touched the dead ball line, and having a pass intercepted for a try 95 metres later at the other end. By the 20 minute mark, Hinuera were 12 points in arrears, Marist opened the scoring in the 5th minute with an unconverted try simply by keeping the ball in hand.
By contrast Hinuera were unsettled, making basic errors and forcing passes. A lineout drive near the Marist line resulted in McGurk scoring, 12-5 Marist. A penalty kicked by the home team gave them a 15-5 lead at half time. This was extended to 20-5 with a further try shortly after the break.
Todd Allen, playing in his old position of fullback, was returning the ball with interest while Levi Kenare made a dangerous burst of 20 metres to raise hopes.
From a scrum, Zane Herrick made ground, Allen chimed in for Ryan Wilson to stroll over, 20-10 Marist in the 16th minute. A further penalty stretched Marist’s lead a minute later to 23-10. Andrew Tiddy scored, Toby O’Reilly converted, 23- 17 Marist with 20 minutes remaining. A further penalty to Marist with 8 minutes remaining made the game safe. Or so one would think.
Olesen was over near the posts but foul play ruled that out when a donnybrook erupted. A Marist player, subbed off, joined in. And was cited.
Hinuera scored from a penalty try, 26-24 but ran out of time.
Herrick was player of the day. B’s won 25-10, Colts lost 19-14 to Old Boys. Next week home to Suburbs.
UMS were up against a Hamilton Old Boys team looking to keep their semifinals alive as they sit on the cusp of the top four.
UMS have been playing some good rugby over past weeks and were looking to take the Old Boys outfit close.
This wasn’t the case. With Old Boys a more focused and accurate team, they deserved their win and the points.
Early exchanges favoured UMS and first five Emery utilised the wind with some excellent kicks deep into the Old Boys 22. This rattled Old Boys, resulting in a penalty to Ryan Tuhakaraina. Old Boys responded with a try soon after. UMS looked good in the set phases. Accurate throwing by Scott Robinson allowed Michael Peters good ball at the back of the lineout.
However, Old Boys were focused and their hardrunning backs allowed holes to appear in the UMS backline. With their outsides on the top of the tryscoring table, they had speed to burn.
Desperate defence from the back three of Stevens, Arnold and Vaimoso stymied several attacks by the Old Boys backline. But eventually the extra numbers allowed several tries before the half to take the score to 3-31.
Coach Simpkin was not happy with the score at the half, but he knew as in past weeks UMS could get back into the game by holding onto possession and being accurate.
However, this wasn’t the case this week. UMS couldn’t get back into the game and Old Boys capitalised on UMS’ mistakes and dropped ball.
Even with the score as it was, UMS always attacked the Old Boys with the accuracy they have shown over the past weeks. They were rewarded with a great try by Sailosi Baleisolomone.
UMS will take some learning from this match but on a cold, blustery winter’s day that greeted UMS, the best place to remember this game is in the memory banks. It was hard to point out players to shine as it was one of those games that didn’t allow that, but of those that did Vaimoso showed some individual hard running in the backs and Leslie McLlroy enjoyed some good moments.
Nest week UMS host University. This will be a big day for the club as it’s also the inaugural Old Boys Day.
Try S Baleisolomone; Penalty Ryan Tuhakaraina
For the UMS B’s match report, turn to page 22.