By Justin Miezenbeek
It was a tough old day at the office for Te Awamutu Sports, as they were beaten and bruised by a red hot Hamilton Old Boys side who ran in ten tries at Fred Jones Park for a 64-15 scoreline in Waikato Premier Rugby this past saturday and resign Sports to another year of promotion relegation.
Sports hung tough in the first half after again conceding a try in the opening minute, but Old Boys slowly broke the back of the Sports defence to the tune of three tries in the first half then took complete control in the second as the physicality took its toll and floodgates opened.
Evaan Reihana slotted a penalty to goal to have Sports trailing 21-3 at the break, but they were just holding on in the face of relentless pressure from the hosts, who were showing why they are sitting in second place on the table and one of the teams to beat all season.
Sports found themselves on the back foot immediately in the second stanza, two perfectly executed rolling mauls blew the score to 33-3 within minutes before Sports finally got some possession in Old Boys territory and were rewarded for a brutal exchange at ruck time with No.8 Fetu Sasalu getting the ball on the base of the post to pull it back to 33-8.
Old Boys struck straight back before Sasalu crossed again in the face of some unforgiving defence around the fringes when he crashed over under heavy attention and a 40-15 scoreline.
Sports were spent from the constant tackling and an incredibly physical exchange to earn their two tries and the Old Boys backs ran riot in the last 15 minutes, taking the score from 40-15 to the final 64-15, their speed and ball handling making a mockery of the wet conditions.
Down on firepower, Sports were tasked with a huge mountain against the mammoth Hamilton Old Boys side, and couldn’t match the physicality for the full game. Sasalu again showed no regard for his body as he hurled himself into the fire and was backed up by inspirational skipper Simon Kay. Flanker Matthew Towers and Patrick O’Sullivan got through a mountain of defensive work while Prop Gordon Fullerton carried strongly.
Sports now have two weeks off with a bye next week and the competition wide bye the following week before the second round begins.