North Otago’s country rugby clubs took control of round five of the Citizens Shield.
All three beat their town opponents – Valley defeated Old Boys 34-29 and now sits top of the table, Maheno saw off Excelsior 30-22 at home and Kurow registered its first victory of the season with a 44-19 win over Athletic Marist.
A good crowd was treated to an exciting game at the Maheno Domain on Thursday night.
Both Maheno and Excelsior traded blows throughout the first half, a try and penalty to Robbie Smith and a Jackson Attfield try were matched by tries to Excelsior wings Kayne Middleton and Tayne Russell.
Excelsior had damaging runners and made inroads, but Maheno scrambled well and won turnovers at crucial moments, taking a 13-12 lead at halftime.
After the break, both sides traded penatlies before Josh Clark made a break which led to a try to Peter Armstrong.
Excelsior continued to create opportunities, and Maheno wing Adam Johnston had to make two very good try-saving tackles.
When Exclesior finally did score through fullback Hamish Slater, it had 10 minutes to take the lead, but Maheno played smart rugby to send the ball deep and Peter Armstrong added another to his tally to secure his side a well deserved victory.
At Weston Park ,Valley tipped up Old Boys to go top of the table.
Its fowards were strong, laying the platform for victory from the outset.
Junior Fakatoufifita scored two in the first half, both converted by Brad Mckenzie, and prop Meli Kolinisau added another.
Old Boys struck back through Toni Taufa and Lemi Masoe and Inoke Naufahu added a conversion for Valley to lead 19-12 at halftime.
Valley scored again through Kolinisau and Dylan Edwards, with Brad Mckenzie adding a conversion and a penalty, while Old Boys scored two late converted tries.
Kurow notched its first win of the season over Athletic Marist.
It was a tight affair in the first half – Ryan Ambler, Patrick Henwood and Jason Anyland crossed the chalk for Kurow, while a conversion was added by Burgess, and Joshua Thomas and Simon Lilicama scored for Athletic Marist with one conversion by Anthony Arty.
Kurow’s superior fitness kicked in during the second half and it eventually scored a flurry of late tries to take the game 44-19.
On Saturday, Excelsior takes on Athletic Marist in the derby at Whitestone Contracting Stadium 2. Old Boys hosts Kurow on the main field and Valley will look to get revenge for its first-round defeat to Maheno when they clash at Weston Park.
Round 5 scores
Valley 34 (Junior Fakatoufifita 2, Meli Kolinisau 2, Dylan Edwards tries; Brad McKenzie 3 con, pen) Old Boys 29 (Toni Taufa, Lemi Masoe, Soni Tongotongo 2 tries; Inoke Naufahu 3 con)
Maheno 30 (Peter Armstrong 2, Robbie Smith, Jackson Attfield tries; Smith 2 pen, 2 con) Excelsior 22 (Kayne Middleton, Tayne Russell, Hamish Slater tries; Tarn Crow pen, 2 con)
Kurow 44 (Ryan Ambler, Jesse Porter, Dean Fenwick 2, Tonga Malafu, Patrick Henwood, Jason Angland, Sam Fleming tries, Burgess 2 con) Athletic Marist 19 (Joshua Thomas, Simon Lilicama, Eikilau Leohua tries; Anthony Arty 2 con)
Maheno v Excelsior
2 – Simon Thorpe (M)
1 – Robbie Smith (M)
1 – Mat Duff (E)
1 – Taina Tamou (E)
1 – Mosese Aho (E)
Valley v Old Boys
1 – Max Smith (V)
1 – Meli Kolinisau (V)
1 – Sam Sturgess (V)
Kurow v Athletic Marist
1 – Kurt Thomas (K)
1 – Isaace Milne (K)
1 – Bailey Templeton (K)
1 – Jason Angland (K)
1 – Epeniri Logavatu (A)