They were the most exciting matches from the first round of the Citizens Shield — can they live up to the hype again tomorrow?
Week seven of the Citizens Shield features a top-of-the-table clash between Valley and Old Boys, Maheno taking on Athletic Marist and Excelsior playing Kurow.
Valley comes into the match after a massive 64-20 win against Excelsior on Saturday.
Excelsior scored early through fullback Simon Conlan and a Josh Phipps conversion, and penalty to follow gave the Oamaru team a 10-0 lead. But Valley hit back almost immediately, going on a try-scoring run to lead 26-13 at the break. The country club was strong out of the sheds, and scored further tries to Cameron Rowland, Matt Vocea, Asesela Ravuvu and Tony McCone.
Valley lost its first-round clash against Old Boys 38-24.
Coach Barry Matthews expected another big match against Old Boys in Weston, and said Valley’s defence would be key.
‘‘It’s always a tough game against Old Boys. They’re big boys and run it really hard,’’ Matthews said.
‘‘If we can defend well, we should stay in the contest for longer.’’
Maheno returns home this weekend after narrowly losing to Old Boys 33-29 in Oamaru on Saturday.
Coach Chris Jennings said his side pit in a good defensive effort for the majority of the match, but lapses gave Old Boys field position and territory to score.
Maheno needed to learn from its mistakes and Jennings felt his side was prepared for tomorrow’s match.
In the first round, Athies held on to beat Maheno 40-37. The team had been strong this year and Maheno would have to be ‘‘right on our game’’, Jennings said.
Maheno had been building all season, with just little mistakes letting it down, and Jennings hoped to tidy them up tomorrow.
‘‘When we get our patterns of play and our structure going, it’s really good,’’ Jennings said.
‘‘In terms of the effort, defensively we’ve come a long way. It doesn’t feel like we’re far away but we’ve just got to keep working hard.’’
In Oamaru, Excelsior will host Kurow. Last time the two teams played it was a midweek match, after the original match was postponed due to Covid-19, and Kurow won 26›24.
Kurow is coming into the match after beating Athies 35-28. The country club made the most of its chances, first-five Tyler Burgess slotting seven penalties.
Blues had a heavy defeat last week, but only went down in the dying minutes of its last game against Kurow.
Waitaki Wahine suffered its second hefty loss to start the season, losing 53-5 to Dunedin.
The Wahine return home tomorrow, playing Alhambra› Union at Whitestone Contracting Stadium.
Alhambra is coming off the back of a bye, but is also yet to win a game this season, having drawn 29-29 with Dunedin in its opening round.
Kick off against Alhambra-Union is at 2.45pm.
The Waitaki Boys’ High School First XV will finally get its chance to play Otago Boys’ High School tomorrow.
The match, to be played at Don field, was originally scheduled for last Saturday but was cancelled due to illness in the Otago Boys’ team. Waitaki Boys’ midweek inter-school match against King’s High School was also postponed, due to illness.
St Kevin’s lost 48-0 to King’s High School last week. Tomorrow, St Kevin’s travels to Dunedin to play John McGlashan College. Both games kick off at 1pm.
The president’s grade got under way last Saturday.
Valley beat Excelsior 38-12 at home in Weston, and Kurow beat Union 22-12 in Ngapara.
Tomorrow, Blues hosts Kurow at Centennial Park and Union hosts Valley, in Ngapara.
Both games kick off at 1pm.