Masi / Goodwood game 10

Monwa and Bubbles 01 Aug
Masi / Goodwood game 10

Saturday 01st August. The Pumas welcomed the visitors from Goodwood RFC for their first ever meeting. Goodwood had been having a solid season having lost only one game across all 3 of their senior teams.
Initially the under 20s seemed to be struggling with the power of the Goodwood team and a heavy score might be on the cards. True to their character the Masi boys started bringing some of their own fire and scored a couple tries to mount a mini comeback. It was not enough though as Goodwood won by 42 to 17. Goodwood started stronger but Masi had shown great resilience and resolve to finish stronger.
The Thirds are a team that is really developing a lot of momentum in the back half of the season and trained extremely well in the lead up to the Goodwood match. It was a match where they all felt that getting one over the unbeaten log leaders was possible. The match started at a frenetic pace with both sides punching, and neither one really gaining an early ascendency. Masi benefited by playing the majority of the first half in the opposition half and when a penalty came on offer, they took no hesitation in taking the 3 points as everyone knew this could be a tight affair. Like heavyweight boxers trading blows, these two sides tussled it out with neither landing a knockout punch. Half time score 3-0. The second half started in an atrocious manner for Masi as they lost their own lineout and off the turnover ball, their Flyhalf managed to run 60 metres untouched. The most gallant of efforts came from Chesre Biggs who seemed to stroke the runner as opposed to tackling him. (Note to coach, tackling drills for Chezzy). 5-3 to Goodwood and Masi had it all to play for. Structures that we trained were implemented and soon things started falling into place. Another penalty and surely this was the opportunity for the 3’s to get back in the lead. Up stepped Tulani… at the last minute he seemed to change his mind and instead kicking for goal, he went for the corner flag, well, it ended up closer to the corner anyway. An almighty shank and suddenly Masi were back under pressure. They managed to force another penalty in the red zone which Man of the Match Sparks managed to convert and 6-5 it remained to Masi. The guys showed maturity and composure in the closing minutes as they held on the ball to ensure that Goodwood would not have another sniff at getting any sort of opportunity to get a result. This was a huge win for the guys and was just reward for a few high intensity training sessions. Standout performances on the day from Sparks, Wes, Rusty and Jordan, but the whole team deserves congratulations for the strides they have made since the mid-season break.
The seconds got off to a poor start leaking a try early on which was converted. 7-0 to Goodwood. The ball was spread wide and the defence was too slow to react. Masi came back fighting but ended up in a midfield seesaw, between the two 22m lines. Alternating penalties and possession, the struggle up front continued. The second team defence held strong for the rest of the half, not allowing them to score again. Goodwood came out fighting again early on in the 2nd half, but the defence held strong conceding only a penalty in the second half. 10 – 0 to Goodwood. Goodwood had a few strong forwards runners which allowed them to push into the Masi 22 regularly but they couldn’t convert this pressure into points. With 10mins to go, Masi with a struggling lineout and limited possession, decided to keep the ball in hand and speed up the play. This put Goodwood out of their comfort zone and for 10 minutes they were defending in their half and under some pressure. With 5 minutes remaining, Mark Katzen crossed the line after a non-stop onslaught from the Masi team, as a whole. He duly converted his own try, 10-7 and we had a cliff-hanger on our hands. The team looked revived and ready for action. For the last 5 minutes Masi camped in their half, threatening to cross the whitewash, but with one off runners and Goodwood’s big players and defenders they struggled to get into a try scoring position. In a last ditch effort, Masi spread the ball wide and crossed the line but it was adjudged that there was a forward pass and the try was not awarded
Unfortunately the game ended in a 10-7 loss for the twos. Special mention must be made of Steven Jacobs who picked up yet another Man of the Match performance for his immense contribution up front with both strong ball carries and a big defensive presence he thoroughly deserved his man of the match award.
The First team ran out on the back of a 3 match winning streak. Goodwood had only lost one previous game so it was a clash between two form teams. Masi started strong and launched a couple attacks at the Goodwood line. Goodwood absorbed the pressure and made their way up to the Masi line with a couple strong mauls. They eventually scored a try and went up. Masi came back immediately with a try of their own. The match would see saw and the only other first half score was a Penalty and a try for Goodwood. The second half see sawed like the first but Goodwood took their chances better and scored two additional tries in the second half to end the game winners. The final score was 31 to 5. Masi had their chances but final execution was lacking. Goodwood took theirs and were deserved winners.
Next week the Pumas go on their last road trip for the season. They will be looking to make up this last performance
Let’s go Pumas.

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