Marist dom­i­nate but UMS sur­prise at times

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

United Mata­mata Sports (Reid and Har­ri­son/Waikato Stud) 20 Hamil­ton Marist 61

The penul­ti­mate round of the Waikato premier rugby com­pe­ti­tion saw UMS play away to Hamil­ton Marist at Marist Park in this round 17 fix­ture.

All week the coaches and cap­tain Alex Bradley have fo­cused on mov­ing for­ward into the play­offs.

How­ever, this par­tic­u­lar game was about get­ting some pride back af­ter the cor­re­spond­ing match in the first round.

With pat­terns and game plans be­ing ad­hered to over past weeks, UMS had pre­pared well for this fix­ture.

With great un­der­foot con­di­tions the game was played at speed. This took Marist by sur­prise ini­tially and UMS had the bet­ter of the ex­changes over the first 15 min­utes and were re­warded with a penalty goal to first five Joey Ram­sey in the early min­utes.

This was stymied by the sin bin­ning of out­stand­ing lock Ru­peni Vakacegu, who was one of the UMS play­ers to make in­roads regularly in to the Marist de­fence.

This al­lowed Marist an ad­van­tage and they took that ad­van­tage and put points on the board.

UMS on the 16th minute mark broke out from their own 22 and with skil­ful back­ing up and good hands, prop Sailosi Baleisolomone scored a great try which was con­verted by Ram­sey.

Marist then lifted their game and be­gan to se­cure more pos­ses­sion, re­sult­ing in points be­ing scored. The half­time score was 10-26.

The half­time break ad­vice from the coaches was for UMS to con­tinue to have a go at the Marist team and put to­gether scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

How­ever, the is­sue that has hin­dered UMS all sea­son was the in­con­sis­ten­cies of the of­fi­cial’s calls.

This was no more ev­i­dent when two Marist play­ers at dif­fer­ent times were guilty of foul play in the tackle and rucks, which were worse trans­gres­sions than the UMS of­fence, but they were over­looked.

Marist were held to task by the UMS pack in the early stages of the sec­ond half but they weath­ered the hard hit­ting de­fence of UMS and scored two fur­ther tries.

On the 61st minute, lock Vakacegu had re­venge on the Marist side and scored a great try, tak­ing the score to 15-40.

Marist scored al­most straight af­ter, but UMS replied back with a well worked try to Ram­sey.

The fi­nal stages of the match were a bit messy but UMS can take some pride in the way they played the game.

They took it to the Marist pack on oc­ca­sions, which wasn’t en­joyed by the Marist sup­port­ers.

In the backs Shar­man Emery played well and Bradley Stevens played his best game in the UMS jersey and was full of con­fi­dence. Ram­sey was ef­fi­cient at first five and Ryan Tuhakaraina had a solid game to back up his pre­vi­ous weeks per­for­mances at half back.

How­ever, winger Luke Arnold was the pick of the backs and his tough­ness for some­one in his first year out of col­lege is ex­cit­ing.

In the for­wards all the pack played well. This was high­lighted again by flanker Cawker and the Fi­jian pair of Baleisolomone and Vakacegu.

What the UMS team ac­knowl­edge is the pos­i­tive sup­port of the fam­i­lies, sup­port­ers and spon­sors of this club. This has had a pos­i­tive ef­fect on the play­ers and man­age­ment through a try­ing sea­son.

Each week they have been treated to some good rugby by UMS and this week’s fix­ture was cer­tainly ex­cit­ing.

Next week sees the last game of the round at home against Mor­rinsville Sports.

Tries: Baleisolomone, Vakacegu and Ram­sey; Con­ver­sion/penalty: Ram­sey



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