UMS unlucky in wet, muddy fixture
Reid and Harrison/Waikato Stud UMS 13 University 17
UMS hosted front runners University at a wet, cold and blustery Bedford Park in this round 16 fixture.
What would have warmed the hearts of the players was the great turnout for the inaugural Old Boys’ Day and what will no doubt be a permanent fixture on the UMS rugby calendar.
After last week’s disappointing result UMS needed to focus on putting together an all round performance. For most parts this was achieved.
Although the weather conditions didn’t suit running rugby what good ball both teams had they used well. The contest at the set phases was going to be the crucial aspect of the game.
For the first 15 minutes both teams tried to use the cross wind to their favour but the muddy conditions only allowed simple phases to work.
Soon after UMS put together some great ball possession which allowed time in the Varsity half. In the 17th minute Joey Ramsey, in his debut game for UMS, neatly converted a penalty for UMS to take the lead.
From the kickoff Varsity put pressure on UMS. The home side couldn’t get out of the half and a succession of penalties allowed Varsity valuable territory.
From an ensuing lineout penalty Varsity put a great drive together and scored. Soon after, in what was to become a sore point for the UMS forward pack, Varsity repeated the driving lineout and took the score to 3-10.
What happened on the 25th minute mark was one of the best tries from UMS the home crowd has seen all year. From some great defence in the UMS 22, half back Ryan Tuhakaraina saw the open spaces, gassed the insides and allowed room for Vaimoso and Arnold, who attacked the outsides of Varsity. With the ball going through several sets of hands Tuhakaraina, who started the attack, was on hand to run 25 meters to score beside the posts.
This was converted by Ramsey, taking the score to 10-10, which had the crowd buzzing.
In the 27th minute mark UMS took themselves into the Varsity 22 and they infringed, allowing Ramsey to slot another penalty to take UMS to a 13-10 lead.
With the conditions worsening Varsity, known for their running, changed tack and grinded away and again were rewarded with a lineout try from a penalty.
With 45 minutes on the clock Varsity again were offered a chance at a lineout drive and again scored. This was disappointing for UMS, as they had done enough to take the halftime lead.
The second half with no score was exciting as UMS were only a break out away from winning the game.
Varsity were also that four try bonus.
At the final whistle it was bitter sweet for UMS to go close to another top four team but to not come away with the win.
The great crowd applauded both
for teams as they came off the field in what was a cold and miserable day.
This shows UMS they aren’t far off and also shows the advantage on cold days in having a home fixture.
Players to shine in the forwards were Gibbs in the tight along with locks Peters and Vakacegu. In the loose open side Cawker toiled away the entire game and his tackle count was the highest on the field. Captain Alex Bradley was again his brilliant self and his control from the back of the scrum allowed Tuhakaraina some great ball which he used wisely.
Ramsey at first five was impressive and looked to take on the Varsity backline with some great skills.
At the back, player of the day Vaimoso really took it to the Varsity team with his directed and aggressive running. This allowed UMS front football on regular occasions and his breaks led to all of UMS’ points.
The Varsity captain after the fixture saluted the efforts of UMS.
He well knows the position UMS find themselves in and admitted his side were lucky to come away with the points.
With the celebrations for the Old Boy’s Day and the auction of the UMS jerseys, the club is in good hands. A big thanks to president Aaron Hill and his committee for putting on a wonderful evening.
Next week UMS Marist in Hamilton.
Tries R Tuhakaraina, Conversion and 2 penalties J Ramsey.
UMS’ commemorative jerseys, worn on Anzac Day, were auctioned off at the club’s Old Boys Day on Saturday.