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The general . . . Valley first-five Brad McKenzie makes a break in his 100th game for the the club. PHOTO: PHIL JANSSEN

In the top-of-the table clash, Valley beat Excelsior 39-17 to celebrate Brad McKenzie’s 100th game for the club.

Kurow defeated Athletic Marist 46-33 in a high-scoring encounter at Whitestone Contracting Stadium, while Maheno was forced to default to Old Boys due to a lack of numbers.

The game between Valley and Excelsior at Weston Park was a good contest in the first half.

Tries to Valley’s Dylan Edwards and Jake Greenslade were matched by tries to Tom Moysey and Antonio Misiloi for Excelsior.

When Excelsior halfback Tarn Crow kicked a penalty with 30 minutes to go, the scores were locked at 17-all.

That was when Valley moved up a gear.

Junior Fakatoufifita took a quick tap to run in from 40m, and Valley piled on further tries to James Graham, Brad Fleming and Glen Sturgess to make the final score 39-17.

Valley Coach Mike Mavor said his team stuck to its game plan and it paid off in the last 25 minutes.

“We tried to get quick ball and shift it around a bit more this week,” Mavor said.

“It was fitting that Brad got to celebrate the day with a good team performance.

“Anyone who gets to that milestone has put a lot of effort into the club.”

Athletic Marist started well against Kurow when winger Etene Gucake scored off a long-range effort, but, barely 10 minutes into the game, it had a player red-carded for a high tackle.

After an entertaining 40 minutes, Athletic Marist led 33-22.

Kurow regrouped in the second half and closed out the game, winning 46-33.

Even missing a few players with injury, Kurow had good depth on the bench – it finished the game with a completely changed front row, a luxury not many clubs in the country would have at this stage of the season.

Kurow also had Highlanders-contracted halfback Tatsuya Hamano turn out for the team on Saturday.

Rumour has it he could be available for the Heartland competition, although North Otago has plenty of options at halfback.

It was a familiar result for Athletic Marist. It managed to score some outstanding tries, but lacked discipline and eventually playing with a man down took its toll.

Maheno was forced to fold after it was unable to field a full side, but manager Blair Stevens was confident it would be in a better position for the next round.

THIS WEEK

The annual Town versus Country game will be played tonight at 7pm at the Maheno Domain.

Most club sides are looking forward to the week off and the chance to rest sore bodies before the final leg of the club season.

For those playing in the game, it will be a good chance to push for higher honours and the chance to challenge for the Ranfurly Shield when North Otago takes on Otago in July.

FIRST XV

St Kevin’s College drew 21-21 with Dunstan High School in Alexandra on Saturday.

The Oamaru schoolboys managed to string long periods of attack together and scored three well-constructed tries to Tupou Fifita, Paea Fifita and Watson Tuapati.

Dunstan scored its tries from broken play, leaving St Kevin’s coach Robbie Breen reflecting on “a game that got away”.

“We look to have turned a bit of a corner with our chat and general excitement levels – we probably played the better brand of rugby.”

Tuapati and Frano Flannery had strong games for St Kevin’s, which faces tough games against Otago Boys’ High School on Saturday in Dunedin and St Bede’s College on Tuesday in Oamaru.

“The boys are excited to test themselves against these teams. It’s obviously hard to come up against schools with 1000 pupils but we are training hard and want to show St Kevin’s can produce top rugby players too,” Breen said.

Waitaki Boys’ High School had a big 52-0 win against South Otago High School at the weekend.

It led 7-0 at halftime, but piled on the points in the second spell. Semisi Kaufusi and Ben Paton scored doubles in a good team effort.

Waitaki Boys’ travels to Queenstown this week to play Wakatipu High School.

Citizens Shield

Round 10 scores

★ Valley 39 (James Graham, Junior Fakatoufifita, Jake Greenslade, Glen Sturgess, Dylan Edwards, Brad Fleming tries; McKenzie 3 con, pen) Excelsior 17 (Tom Moysey, Antonio Misiloi tries; Tarn Crow 2 con, pen)

★ Kurow 46 (Michael Paterson 3, Robert Richardson, Sam MacDonald, Lotatonga Malafu, Tyler Burgess tries; Sam MacDonald 4 con, pen) Athletic Marist 33 (Andrew Fauo’o 2, Anthony Arty, Etene Gucake, Pakileata Fifita tries; Arty 4 con)