Valley’s winning run is over after Old Boys put it all together at Whitestone Contracting Stadium on Saturday to beat the defending champion 45-24.
Maheno beat Athletic Marist 41-26 and Excelsior beat Kurow 45-21 to keep the standings the same as last week.
Straight off the bat, Old Boys showed it was up for the fight, contesting scrums, breakdowns and lineouts with success – areas where Valley has not really been challenged at all so far this year.
Old Boys scored the first try to flanker Toni Taufa, converted by Inoke Naufahu.
Valley hit back when a clearance kick ended up the hands of new fullback Howard Packman, who wriggled through a gap before outpacing the cover defence to score one of the individual tries of the season, which was converted by Brad McKenzie.
Old Boys responded with two quickfire tries – one through lock Sale Pi’i, who showed a good turn of pace, and a great team try from distance that was finished by Alipate Tuipulotu.
Naufahu converted both, before Valley flanker Cameron Rowland latched on to a loose ball from a lineout and scored to make it 21-12 at halftime.
After the break, some outstanding build-up by Old Boys led to Taufa bashing over for his second try.
Valley scored against the run of play, but every pass Old Boys was throwing stuck, and it scored twice through Unga Kefu and Taani Vaitohi.
The two sides traded tries in the final 15 minutes, but the game had effectively been decided and Old Boys was the comprehensive winner.
For Valley, it was probably a good time of the season to lose, so the kinks can be ironed out ahead of the final rounds.
Everything went right for Old Boys – it was aggressive on defence and at the set piece.
Excelsior travelled to Kurow and went to work in the first half, leading 21-0 at halftime.
The second half was more evenly contested but the damage was done with Excelsior going on to win 45-21.
The Excelsior midfield of Taina Tamou and Antonio Misiloi scored five tries on the back of some good ball from the pack.
For Kurow, Paddy Henwood played well and Tyler Burgess provided a boost for the team.
A depleted Maheno side outlasted bottom team Athletic Marist 41-26.
Maheno led 17-0 at halftime, and scored again shortly after.
Athletic Marist came storming back to trail 22-21 then 27-26, but could not quite take the lead. Maheno sealed the game with a couple of late tries as Athletic Marist faded.
Valley hosts Excelsior in a game that will decide who goes top of the table before the Town v Country game next week. Athletic Marist hosts Kurow at Whitestone Contracting Stadium in the bottom-of-the-table clash and Maheno hosts Old Boys. All games are at 2.30pm.
Waitaki Boys’ High School beat Mount Aspiring College 29-12 in a hard-fought encounter at Milner Park on Saturday.
Playing with the wind, Waitaki Boys’ trailed 12-10 at halftime, but scored 19 unanswered points in the second half.
Into the wind, the Waitaki Boys’ backs kept the ball in hand, and the whole team defended accurately.
In the midfield, Ben Paton played well and Semisi Kaufusi helped himself to three tries.
Coach Wayne Kinzett said it was a good team performance and “just the injection we needed”.
Waitaki Boys’ plays South Otago High School in Balclutha this weekend in an important game for both teams.
St Kevin’s College was thumped 90-3 by a very strong and well-drilled Southland Boys’ High School team.
Coach Robbie Breen said his players were brave in the contact and would be better for the experience.
St Kevin’s plays Dunstan High School in Alexandra this week, which should be a well-contested game.
Citizens Shield – Round 9 scores
★ Old Boys 45 (Toni Taufa 2, Unga Kefu, Sale Pi’i, Alipate Tuipulotu, Taani Vaitohi, Punua Fariu tries; Inoke Naufahu 5 con), Valley 24 (Howard Packman, Cameron Rowland, Matthew Vocea, Brad McKenzie tries; McKenzie 2 con).
★ Maheno 41 (Adam Johnson 2, Cannan Elvines 2, Lachlan Kingan, Jackson Attfield, Uhila Malafu tries; Sam Tatupu 2 con, Elvines con), Athletic Marist 26 (Anthony Arty 2, Patrick Pati, Kulueti Lolohea tries; Arty 3 con).
★ Excelsior 45 (Taina Tamou 3, Antonio Misiloi 2, Will Sunderland, Tarn Crow tries; Crow 3 con, Kayne Middleton con), Kurow 21 (Sam Fleming, Ben Nowell, Tyler Burgess tries; Sam McDonald 3 con).
Old Boys v Valley
1 – Inoke Naufahu (OB)
1 – Toni Taufa (OB)
1 – Manulua Taiti (OB)
1 – Lemi Masoe (OB)
1 – Glen Sturgess (V)
1 – Howard Packman (V)
Excelsior v Kurow
1 – Tyler Burgess (K)
1 – Paddy Henwood (K)
1 – Will Sunderland (E)
1 – Mat Duff (E)
1 – Taina Tamou (E)
1 – Samuela Babiau (E)
Athletic Marist v Maheno
1 – Anthony Arty (AM)
1 – Patrick Pati (AM)
1 – Andrew Fauo’o (AM)
1 – Sam Tatupu (M)
1 – Lachie Kingan (M)
1 – Tom Abernathy (M)