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On the run . . . Excelsior's Andy Matoto dodges Athletic Marist defence. PHOTO: PHIL JANSSEN

Valley extended its winning run on Saturday, defeating Maheno 38-19 on Saturday, and has taken a clear lead of the Citizens Shield competition.

Old Boys beat Kurow 45-10 in a game closer than the scoreline suggested and Excelsior trumped a much improved Athletic Marist 25-19.

At Weston Park, Valley struck early with a try to hard-running number 8 Jake Greenslade, converted by Brad McKenzie.

Maheno quickly struck back after Lachie Kingan released Adam Johnson to touch down for the first of his three tries.

Robbie Smith levelled with his conversion, before Meli Kolinisau drove over for an unconverted try that put Valley ahead 12-7 at half-time.

Valley extended its lead early in the second half with tries to Sam Sturgess and Kolinisau.

Maheno fought back with Johnson scoring twice more, but a McKenzie intercept try and a third try to Kolinisau put the game out of reach for Maheno.

As always, the Valley forwards recycled possession well and were good in set piece.

Maheno had to reshuffle its pack because of injuries and was right in the hunt for most of the game.

Kurow got off to a strong start against Old Boys. For the first 10 minutes it camped on the Old Boys line, but only managed to come away with a penalty.

Old Boys hit straight back with a try to prop Kelepi Funaki and we all know when Old Boys gets on a roll it is very difficult to stop.

It piled on the points to lead 31-3 at half-time.

Kurow struggled to catch Old Boys behind the gain line, but it has not been the only side to have that problem this year.

The second half was more evenly contested and Kurow stopped the score from blowing out further, and played some entertaining rugby.

The closest game of the round was unexpected – Athletic Marist pushed Excelsior hard for 80 minutes.

Athletic Marist coach Graham Pitches said his side managed to get good numbers at training on Anzac Day – and that paid off on Saturday.

It was a physical defensive effort by the side, and it showed it will challenge a few teams if it manages to get a consistent line up.

However, Excelsior was well drilled, and eventually its superior fitness and cohesion paid off.

It led 15-7 at half-time and scrambled well when Athletic Marist broke the line.

THIS WEEK

Duck shooting this weekend means the country clash between Valley and Kurow took place on Thursday night at Kurow. On Saturday, Maheno will host Excelsior at 2.30pm and Old Boys and Athletic Marist play at Whitestone Contracting Stadium at a slightly later start time of 4pm.

Waitaki Wahine Athletic Marist faces a tough challenge against Pirates at 1pm at Hancock Park in Dunedin.

Round 6 scores

★ Valley 38 (Meli Kolinisau 3, Sam Sturgess, Jake Greenslade, Brad McKenzie tries; McKenzie 4 con) Maheno 19 (Adam Johnson 3 tries; Robbie Smith 2 con)

★ Old Boys 45 (Kelepi Funaki 2, Manulua Taiti 2, Samisoni Tongotongo, Ilitia Tahitua, Omega Masoe tries; Inoke Naufahu 5 con) Kurow 10 (Michael Paterson try, Ben Nowell pen, con)

★ Excelsior 25 (Hayden James, Hamish Slater, Taina Tamou, James Pillay tries; Tarn Crow con, pen) Athletic Marist 19 (Anthony Arty 2, Simon Lilicama tries; Arty con, Mason Kinzett con)

Player points

Valley v Maheno

1 – Mark Roney (V)

1 – Sam Sturgess (V)

1 – Scott Ruddle (V)

1 – Meli Kolinisau (V)

1 – Adam Johnson (M)

1 – Jackson Attfield (M)

Old Boys v Kurow

1 – Kelepi Funaki (OB)

1 – Sione Halalele (OB)

1 – Manulua Taiti (OB)

1 – Sale Pi’i (OB)

1 – Glen Robertson (K)

1 – Jesse Porter (K)

Excelsior v Athletic Marist

2 – Simon Lilicama (AM)

1 – Epineri Logavatu (AM)

1 – James Pillay (E)

1 – Tayne Russell (E)

1 – Hayden Hames (E)