By Justin Miezenbeek
Te Awamutu Sports stamped their authority on Waikato Championship Rugby with an emphatic 76-5 win over former leaders Putaruru, in Putaruru this past Saturday, shaking off some inaccuracies of the last few weeks to put together their most complete performance of the round.
Sports ran wild to the tune of 12 tries, led by winger Maseiga Teomatavui, who picked up a hat-trick in the second half and skipper Matthew Towers who picked up a first half double. Putaruru were spirited and by no means passengers in the match, but just couldn’t keep pace with a slick Sports outfit.
Sports went onto the attack early and shocked the hosts with two tries, captain Towers ever present in support and fullback Josh Moorby showing his worth breaking from long range before putting his brother Cam into score.
Sports didn’t let off the pressure there, outstanding Lock Josh Reynolds crossing after flanker Maika Smith was pulled down inches away, then Towers picked up his second after the backs created space down the left wing. The score racing out to 26-0 and the hosts chasing ghosts around Nola Block.
Cam Petch, Josh Moorby and Api Mocekula all crossed before the break to round out a clinical first half and a 45-0 lead, where they mixed scintillating back play with good decisions and direction.
There was no easing back as Teomatavui picked up his first minutes into the second stanza followed by two more and 15 minutes in, Sports were out to 64-0 and the machine was rolling.
Putaruru however showed they weren’t giving the game away, and were rewarded with an intercept, chip and chase and score to a rapturous applause from the local faithful.
Sports rounded out the game with tries to halfback Ryan McNeil and midfielder Henare Raukawa to sign off an impressive day at the office.
There were top performances all over the park, but lock Reynolds picked up the man of the match award with an immense performance. Strong in defence, powerful on attack, highlighted by a run of 30 meters, carrying defenders only to be denied his second try by being held up over the line. Teomatavui looked dangerous every time he touched the ball out wide while captain Towers was everywhere and picked up a double. Sports also welcomed back Prop Wade Mclean-Te Huia to the fold, who featured with several trademark barnstorming runs, as well as hooker Cam Moorby, who was dominant with ball in hand. Halfback McNeil was lively around the fringes and prop Dean Scott continues to develop after being thrust into the premier side.
Sports return home for the first time in a month to take on second place Morrinsville in what shapes to be a mouth-watering clash.