It would not be a stretch to say this was an upset week in the Citizens Shield.
Kurow registered its second win of the season against country rivals Maheno, while Excelsior proved its credentials beating Old Boys in an arm wrestle at Whitestone Contracting Stadium.
The form-book was not upset on the main ground though, as Valley held off Athletic Marist to continue its unbeaten streak.
At the Maheno Domain, Kurow went ahead early after prop Tonga Malafu ran a good line five metres out and crashed over.
Blindside flanker Sione Kaufusi scored in similar circumstances 15 minutes later, before Maheno halfback Cameron Grubb struck back.
Malafu then crashed over again and some spirited goal-line defence by Kurow preserved its 15-7 lead at halftime.
After the break, a try to Patrick Henwood extended Kurow’s lead to 22-7.
Maheno scored another two tries, to Andrew Fisher and Lachie Kingan, which were both converted by Sam Tatupu, but it was not enough and Kurow notched its second win of the season.
It now sits within striking distance of the top four if it can manage to string a few more wins together.
Maheno is still missing some key players, and will be stronger if it can avoid adding to its injury list.
Excelsior won 17-7 in a tight battle with Old Boys.
Both sides have had no trouble scoring points all season, but it took almost 40 minutes for the first points to be registered on Saturday.
Two tries by Excelsior winger Kayne Middleton and one by new lock Nick Van Nieuwpoort took Excelsior out to a 17-0 lead.
Old Boys replied with a try by Viliami Sanft, converted by Inoke Naufahu.
Defence was the order of the day for both sides, and Excelsior co-coach Hamish McKenzie was happy with the way his side grafted out the win.
“That was the most pleasing factor, we were missing Taina Tamou, but we showed we can win in a different manner,” McKenzie said.
Valley dispatched an improved Athletic Marist side 35-19, thanks to its superior discipline and structure.
Valley took control of the game early, going into halftime with a 28-7 lead.
The two sides shared the honours in the second half, though – Athletic Marist had some dangerous runners and threw offloads constantly, showing it will be dangerous on the day those passes stick.
Brad Mckenzie had a good day from the tee, slotting five from five conversions.
There are interesting games all around this weekend – Valley and Old Boys play at Whitestone Contracting Stadium 1, Athletic Marist clashes with Maheno on field five and Excelsior travels to Kurow.
Waitaki Wahine Athletic Marist had a big 68-0 win over Taieri at home on Saturday.
The Waitaki Wahine loaned Taieri three players, as the away side had travelled to Oamaru with only 12.
Fullback Cheyenne Cunningham scored four tries and three conversions, for a 26 point haul.
Waitaki Boys’ High School has endured a tough start in the Otago First XV competition.
Last Wednesday, Waitaki Boys’ went down to Kings High School 26-7 at Milner Park in an annual interschool match.
The two sides scored a try apiece in a tight first half, with Tema Tevao scoring for Waitaki Boys’.
King’s scored all the points in the second half, which did not quite tell the full story.
King’s dominated territory through a lop-sided penalty count, and Waitaki Boy’s just could not quite make the last pass stick.
In the forwards, Oliver Kinzett and Handre Van Basten got around the paddock well.
New halfback Fiula Tameilau looked sharp and made some good tackles and winger Taine Sterling ran hard all day.
On Saturday, Waitaki Boys’ was defeated 24-12 by Otago Boys’ Second XV at Littlebourne in Dunedin.
The team started well, but failed to convert early chances, and the bruising midweek game took its toll.
Playing at home, St Kevin’s College came back from its first round defeat to see off Wakatipu High School 26-22.
Leonard Varu and Bailey Howell scored a try each and Paea Fifita got a double.
Wakatipu High School also scored four, but Marc Boardman’s superior goalkicking made the difference.
St Kevin’s best were Paea and Tupou Fifita, while Frano Flannery made a good fist of his outing at flanker.
Both Oamaru schools play at home at 1pm this week – Waitaki Boys’ plays Mt Aspiring College and St Kevin’s faces Southland Boys’.
Citizens Shield – Round 8 scores
Kurow 22 (Tonga Malafu 2, Braden Barnes, Sione Kaufusi tries; Sam McDonald con) Maheno 21 (Cameron Grubb, Andrew Fisher, Lachie Kingan tries; Sam Tatupu 3 con)
Excelsior 17 (Kayne Middleton 2, Nick Van Nieuwpoort tries; Tarn Crow con) Old Boys 7 (Viliami Sanft try; Inoke Naufahu con)
Valley 35 (Logan Dunlop, Meli Kolinisau, Jake Greenslade, Dylan Edwards, Howard Packman tries; Brad McKenzie 5 con) Athletic Marist 19 (Patrick Pati, Leone Latavao 2 tries; Anthony Arty 2 con)
Valley v Athletic Marist
2 – Meli Kolinisau (V)
1 – Jim Graham (V)
1 – Dylan Edwards (V)
1 – Andrew Fauoo (AM)
1 – Patrick Pati (AM)
Excelsior v Old Boys
1 – Mat Duff (E)
1 – Mosese Aho (E)
1 – Nick Van Nieuwpoort (E)
1 – Punua Fariu (OB)
1 – Toni Taufa (OB)
1 – Ralph Darling (OB)
Kurow v Maheno
2 – Tonga Malafu (K)
1 – Sione Kaufusi (K)
1 – Josh Hayward (M)
1 – Lachie Kingan (M)
1 – Andrew Fisher (M)