UMS in fight to hold premier spot
United Matamata Sports’ premier rugby team need your support now more than ever as they fight to stay in the premier division.
From this Saturday, the Bedford Park- based team will battle for three weeks in Waikato Rugby Union’s promotion relegation.
UMS president Aaron Hill says support for the club throughout the season had been ‘‘fantastic’’. This comes even though the team is yet to win a game and are at the bottom of the premier table.
‘‘We knew it was going to be a challenging season.’’
‘‘I think the supporters have appreciated the standard of rugby because its premier division and they enjoy watching a good level of rugby.’’
Team captain agrees.
‘‘I’ve had nothing but comments.
‘‘It’s all been about the level of rugby that’s being played and the fact that we have been competing. We haven’t been getting hidings every week.’’
The pair certainly believe some of the 50/50 calls have resulted in UMS being on the other side of a win. ‘‘A lot of those 50/50s don’t go our way,’’ Bradley admits.
It was 10 years ago when UMS were last in the premier division and they now have every hope of staying put.
‘‘The next three weeks are critical,’’ Hill says.
‘‘If we can manage to stay up
positive there I think it’s good for the town to have a club in premier division, it’s good exposure for the younger players that are playing here.’’
Bradley believes that is key, too. ‘‘We said at the start of the year if we provided the opportunity for just one of these young guys to get a lick or a chance at higher-level rugby that would be perfect, we’ve done the job then.
‘‘Whereas staying in that first division, you just don’t have the same opportunities. You’re not looked at the same.’’
Skill level and intensity is certainly a step up for the team playing in premier this season. ‘‘Stepping up is a big part of it,’’ Bradley says.
‘‘Our guys are all having to step up to this next level, whereas a lot of the other teams in the premier division, they’ve got players coming down to play premier rugby. It’s a big difference.’’
Teams UMS are playing, such as Hamilton Marist, would have also spent a number of years at this level whereas there would only be a handful of senior players in the Matamata side who have played premier rugby before.
Bradley says despite the tough season, his team mates continue to come to training with their heads up.
‘‘They’re real positive. The talk amongst them all is that they don’t want to go back down to division one rugby.
‘‘They want to continue playing this level.’’
Bradley says as UMS enter promotion relegation, which sees the top two teams in division and bottom two teams in premier play each other, a large number of supporters attending games, both at home and away, is vital.
In recent games the club has seen more supports and explayers return to watch. ‘‘They’re wanting to come and watch because of that level of rugby,’’ Bradley says.
Both Hill and Bradley wanted to thank supporters for their continued support this season, along with dedicated sponsors, coaches and team management.
‘‘But now we need you more than ever,’’ Bradley says.
United Matamata Sports president Aaron Hill and premier team captain Alex Bradley say the team needs their supporters now more than ever as they face the start of promotion relegation this weekend.