By Justin Miezenbeek
Te Awamutu Sports withstood an early charge from a spirited Hinuera side, to then put them to the sword to the tune of eight unanswered tries, running away 54-10 winners at Albert Park this Saturday.
Evaan Reihana, Josh Moorby and Api Mocekula all bagged braces, while Vavao Afemai and Jack Munce picked up the other tries, the backs getting a chance to spread their legs in space, with Reihana almost perfect off the tea with 7 from 8.
The visitors made the early running, controlling the ball through their forwards, stringing multiple phases together and were rewarded with a try to flanker Paul Blyde who scooped up a loose ball and ran 30 meters to score. On defence early, Sports bided their time then showed their worth, Reihana catching a gap around the fringe to go over untouched.
Hinuera broke the deadlock with a penalty goal to fullback Benji Olesen, the lead 10-7, but that’s where the joy stopped, Mocekula exploiting a gap in midfield after the forwards worked the visitors over in the left corner before swinging it right. Soon after Reihana got outside his man and found Josh Moorby in support, stepping inside the last defender to score under the posts. Afemai rounded out a clinical last 20 minutes of the first half with the fourth try, again finishing off the forwards hard work.
Up 28-10 at the half, Sports were rolling, and struck straight after the break through their backs, finding holes regularly and putting Mocekula under the post for his second. Moorby picked up his second, again running off Reihana who split them up the middle, Reihana picking up his own double with the defence stretched, again untouched.
For all the wonderful tries Sports scored, perhaps the most popular was to prop Jack Munce, who brushed off a would-be defender to outrun the cover defence down the sideline to break the half century. Reihana’s only misstep of the tee left the score at 54-10.
The final 15 minutes lost its shape, turning into a stop start affair with substitutions, penalties and mistakes meaning neither team really finished strongly, Sports leaving points on the field in some missed opportunities.
Overall, it was a clinical performance from Sports, weathering the early storm and putting together some classy tries in a dominant performance across the park. Man of the Match Jack Munce was an immense presence, showing his full range of skills and brutal physicality and was backed up by his front row brethren Cam Moorby and Dean Scott along with skipper Simon Kay who was a dominant force around the ruck. Reihana put together his most complete game, showing his attacking streak to great success with a personal haul of 24 points and found partner in crime in Josh Moorby who cut Hinuera to ribbons.
Sports travel to Taupiri next week, kicking off a three-week road trip in what looms as a tough fixture.