Special moment for visitors
UMS bounce back from 7-22 down at halftime to secure win
For the first 10 minutes both teams threw the ball around and tried to run each other off the park but great defence from both teams didn’t allow any points.
On the 12- minute mark in what turned out to be a defining moment, Bradley received a knock which resulted in his departure from the field briefly.
Te Awamutu also scored the first try of the half.
Immediately from the kick off UMS took control of the ball and within two minutes Bradley ran the direct route and barged over for a try close to the posts.
Joey Ramsey calmly converted to make it 7-7 after 15 minutes.
For the next 10 minutes UMS were the author of their own misfortune with missed kicks to touch from penalties, dropped ball in their half and silly mistakes from the lineout.
Te Awamutu were well directed by their classy first-five who seemed to have time and poise and regularly made breaks into the UMS backline.
As a result Te Awamutu scored tries on the 31st and 34th minute marks to take the halftime score to 7-22.
At the break Bradley asked them what they wanted. They all replied ‘‘ to win’’.
The second half you could have used all the sporting quotes in the book. Those from previous eras of rugby would understand
the 3 P’s: Possession, position and pace. However, on this day the 3 P’s for UMS were passion, perseverance and pride.
The second half of this game will go down in the short history of UMS as one of the club’s proudest moments.
From the kick off UMS through loose forwards of Bradley, McLlroy and Cawker fought for every possession and were strong on both attack and defence.
This was also assisted with several lineout takes by lock Peters which allowed UMS time in the Te Awamutu half.
On the 47th minute mark UMS finally got into the Te Awamutu 22 and from a great lineout take by Peters UMS made their way into the red zone.
Prop Sailosi Baleisolomone was on the end of some good ruck work to score in the corner to take the score to 12-22.
From the kickoff UMS made their way down the field from great hard running form Vaimoso and McIntyre.
UMS were then awarded a penalty which Ryan Tuha- karaina neatly slotted to bring the game within seven points.
Te Awamutu were then given time in the UMS 22 which resulted in the home side securing three points to take the score to 15-25 with 30 minutes remaining.
Fresh changes for UMS resulted in the visitors making inroads.
What was the catalyst in the spectators eyes was the spot tackle put on by Michael Peters on the Te Awamutu fullback.
This seemed to lift UMS and from a resulting scrum and great handling from McLlroy, McIntyre, Sam Brill and then a reverse pass to McLlroy, who scored in the corner. The score was now 20-25.
UMS managed to regain possession from the kick off and were allowed position on the field due to infringements by Te Awamutu. With Bradley assuming the role as Dan Carter, a lineout in the Te Awamutu 22 followed.
Te Awamutu then tried the Highlanders defence by not engaging in the lineout drive of UMS.
The visitors pack then drove over from 15 metres out with Peters rewarded with a try, much to the distain of the Te Awamutu team.
With the score now 25-all with five minutes remaining, UMS regained possession from Awamutu infringement.
With three minutes remaining UMS gave up a long range shot at goal and opted for the lineout.
Although not scoring from the ensuing lineout, after several composed pick and goes, replacement prop Lotoa Aliimatafitafi drove over the line and with the final whistle straight after UMS were the victors.
On the final whistle it showed to all at the game what this meant for UMS – be it players, management, family and supporters.
The euphoric scenes of the victory was something to saviour.
This was the first time since the new format began that the 10th placed team has won a game against another premier team, be it regular or in the promotion relegation.
With the five tries to three win UMS gain their first five points of the season.
They have now put themselves in the box seat to keep their premier status.
However, they know the next two weeks against high flying Leamington and Southern United is more important than the win over Te Awamutu.
Next week UMS travel to Tokoroa to play Southern United and a win will see them all but qualify, but it will be a tough assignment.