It was the final-round calm before the semifinal storm.
Nothing too dramatic happened, no team changed its position on the table, and no game produced anything to write home about.
We did have our first draw of the season, though, Valley and Athletic Marist combining for a 31-31 stalemate at Centennial Park.
There had been four games this year decided by a single point but no draw until the last day of the regular season.
It was 19-19 at halftime then Valley held a 31-19 lead before Athletic finished with a flourish.
That meant Excelsior needed to continue its late-season resurgence with a win over faltering Old Boys if it was to avoid the wooden spoon.
Happily for Old Boys fans, the defending champions regained some of their mojo on their way to a 34-26 win.
Excelsior made a few too many errors, and Old Boys showed glimpses of their attacking potential to get back some confidence ahead of the playoffs.
At Kurow, in the same-teams-different-venue preview of one semifinal, Maheno continued its golden run with a 47-13 shellacking of Kurow.
That was six straight wins for Maheno, though it seems doubtful either side will read too much into that result ahead of the rematch.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Simon Thorp led the Maheno forward pack in style, while Levi Emery produced more of his fancy footwork to scoot in for a hat trick of tries.
Darling had a big game for Old Boys, getting good help from fellow forwards Filipo Veamatahau and Unga Kefu, and Mika Mafi starred again for Excelsior.
Dynamic Valley prop Meli Kolinisau became the third player – and second front-rower – in two weeks to bag four tries, and class acts Simon Lilicama and Jared Whitburn finished the season strongly for Athletic Marist.
Excelsior beat misfiring Union 33-13 under lights at Maheno, and the two sides will have a semifinal rematch at Ngapara.
Athletic Marist defaulted to Kurow, and has done so again this weekend, meaning Burns Shield favourite Kurow will be a tad underdone for the final next week.
Round 15 scores
Maheno 47 (Levi Emery 3, Andrew Fisher 2, Kieran Byrne, Simon Thorp, Hayden Tisdall, Llew Johnson tries; Emery con), Kurow 13 (Dean Fenwick, Petelo Pouhila tries; Tyler Burgess pen). Halftime: Maheno 22-8.
Old Boys 34 (Paea Ala, Ralph Darling, Unga Kefu, Filipo Veamatahau, Anton Ngogo tries; Inoke Naufahu 3 con, pen), Excelsior 26 (Mika Mafi 2, Hamish Slater, Frank Kelly tries; Slater 3 con). Halftime: Old Boys 17-14.
Athletic Marist 31 (Ross Lewis 2, Josh Thomas, Simon Lilicama, Jared Whitburn tries; Duncan Jones 2 con, Mason Kinzett con), Valley 31 (Meli Kolinisau 4, Logan Dunlop tries; Glen Sturgess 2 con, Dan Lewis con). Halftime: 19-19.
Maheno v Kurow
2 – Simon Thorp (M)
1 – Llew Johnson (M)
1 – Kieran Byrne (M)
1 – Levi Emery (M)
1 – Fred Sutton (K)
Old Boys v Excelsior
2 – Ralph Darling (OB)
1 – Anton Ngogo (OB)
1 – Unga Kefu (OB)
1 – Thomas Shields (E)
1 – Mika Mafi (E)
Athletic Marist v Valley
1 – Junior Fakatoufifita (AM)
1 – Jared Whitburn (AM)
1 – Simon Lilicama (AM)
1 – Dylan Edwards (V)
1 – Cameron Rowland (V)
1 – Matt Cowie (V)