Southern too strong on home turf
United Matamata Sport A vs Southern United, premier division, April 18.
Game two of the season saw UMS travel to Tokoroa to play a fired-up Southern United team.
Southern came out hungry, and determined to show that they deserved to have been moved up to the premier division this year.
They put on the first try of the match just five minutes into the game.
A scrappy start by Matamata saw Southern leading 11-0 midway through the first half after a penalty and an excellent field goal.
Matamata hit their straps soon after with Epeli Lotawa scoring a great try after a steady build up.
Three excellent penalty goals, added to the earlier conversion, by Henry Foy, saw Matamata lead 16-11 at half time.
The first 20 minutes of the second half was dominated by Southern as they piled on four tries to lead 35-16 with the clock winding down.
Matamata fought on and was rewarded with a try to Phillip Togotogorua with time almost up.
Try converted successfully for a final score of 35-23.
Matamata will be somewhat disappointed as this was a game they should have won.
However there were some positives with Rhys Dickinson having another good game at halfback, and his replacement at halftime, Michael Autridge showing what a good impact player he is.
Henry Foy’s three penalty goals and two conversions kept Matamata in the game and coach Simpkin should have no concern about the goal kicking duties.
Although the Matamata scrum was struggling against a solid Southern unit in the first half, the second half saw Matamata match the opposition.
Michael Peters had a good sec- ond half at prop, a position he only moved into this season.
I expect their scrum to continue to improve as the season progresses.
Phillip Togotogorua continues to impress with several great runs again this game.
The Matamata development team took a win against Southern B 34-22. Well done lads. Supporters please head down to Bedford Park and support the Matamata teams this Friday.
UMS Development team 1pm and UMS Premier 2:45pm playing Te Awamutu.
-Report written by Merv.