North Otago have one hand on a Meads Cup semi-final spot after downing West Coast 32-22 in Greymouth on Saturday.
The Old Golds now sit in third place on the points table after handing the red and whites their second loss of the campaign.
West Coast coach Alan Lindsay said he was confident his players would bounce back from the defeat in their final round-robin clash against Wanganui next weekend.
“We did enough to win the game. At 25, all we were still in the hunt but obviously weren’t good enough on the score board,” he said.
“We’re confident for next week. We’re used to winning so this is just a bump in the road.
“They scored some great opportunist tries. They’ve got some game winners and a lot of talent.”
North Otago didn’t come away totally unscathed, with Toetuu Hausia picking up a shoulder injury and winger Chris Talanoa injuring his leg.
Coach Mike Mullins is hoping Hausia will make a hasty return but Talanoa’s ailment will not be assessed until later this week.
Mullins’ side will lock horns with lowly Horowhenua Kapiti, who sit second from bottom after falling 28-24 to Wanganui in their week seven fixture, in their next tie.
By James Ford