Loss imperils Kurow’s finals spot

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Kurow’s finals aspirations are in jeopardy after it lost to Maheno 45-19 at home on Saturday.

The competition’s two top sides, Valley and Excelsior, had a brutal encounter, the blue and golds prevailing 33-27.

Old Boys defaulted to Athletic Marist on Thursday night due to a lack of player numbers.

Maheno had a full-strength side, and it put on a clinical performance against Kurow.

Its only concern was an injury to fullback Josh Buchan, who scored three tries before going off.

At Whitestone Contracting Stadium, Excelsior winger Kayne Middleton opened the scoring against Valley, finishing a move that was started by first five Tom Moysey.

Valley struck right back through first five Brad McKenzie, before Middleton scored again off a sweeping play by Excelsior.

Howard Packman snuck a try in for Valley right before the break, picking up the ball from the back of the ruck and running over untouched to put Valley ahead 14-10.

The second half continued in the same tit-for-tat fashion.

Excelsior scored two tries from set piece – one from a clever lineout and one from a powerful scrum.

Valley hit back with three tries from open play – the abrasive Junior Fakatoufifita put Blake Welsh away, winger Brad Fleming scampered in and Jake Greenslade crashed over from five metres out.

Mosese Aho showed good pace when he ran 50 metres to touch down and give Excelsior one last chance with time almost up, but Valley’s defence held firm to earn the victory.

Both sides fought for every inch, and looked to shift the ball around and play attacking rugby.

Old Boys’ default to Athletic Marist was the fourth abandoned game this season.

North Otago Rugby Union chief executive Colin Jackson said the defaulted games reflected the lack of player numbers in some clubs.

“It is what it is, unfortunately a lot of our players are on shift work.

“The quality of the competition is still strong.”

Jackson said the shift work would finish soon, and he was hopeful that the situation would improve for the rest of the season.

THIS WEEK

Valley hosts Athletic Marist, which will be rusty after not playing a game for almost a month.

Maheno and Old Boys battle on the main ground at Whitestone, while Excelsior and Kurow play on field two.

WAITAKI WAHINE

Athletic Marist Waitaki Wahine took on Alhambra Union in Oamaru on Saturday, winning 27-17.

Charlotte Denny played well, scoring two tries for the Wahine. Other players to stand out were halfback Alison Blanchard and prop Yvonne Gregory- Hunt.

FIRST XV

St Kevin’s College had an important 41-24 win against South Otago High School in Oamaru.

Leading 31-7 at halftime, St Kevin’s coach Robbie Breen said it was his team’s best 40 minutes of the season.

South Otago came back in the second spell, but St Kevin’s closed the game out to record a comfortable victory.

Breen praised “special talent” Isaac Clunie, who stood in for injured first five Marc Boardman.

St Kevin’s plays John McGlashan College in Oamaru this Saturday.

Waitaki Boys’ High School had the weekend off after it played Southland Boys’ High School in its annual interschool in Oamaru on Wednesday.

The strong Southland Boys’ side won 36-10, but Waitaki Boys’ gave a good account of itself and scored a very good set-piece try to Norman Dennison, who looked dangerous every time he touched the ball.

The home side had to make a lot of tackles against some big and strong ball carriers, and the game was closer than the scoreline would suggest.

Citizens Shield – Round 12 scores

★ Maheno 45 (Josh Buchan 3, Forrest Beer, Robbie Smith, Sam Tatupu, Hayden Tisdall tries; Buchan 5 con) Kurow 19 (Jesse Porter, Dean Fenwick, Robbie Richardson tries; Tyler Burgess 2 con)

★ Valley 33 (Blake Welsh, Jake Greenslade, Brad McKenzie, Brad Fleming, Howard Packman tries; McKenzie 4 con) Excelsior 27 (Mosese Aho 2, Kayne Middleton 2, Samuela Babiau tries; Tarn Crow con)

Player Points

Maheno v Kurow

2 – Jackson Attfield (M)

1 – Marcus Balchin (M)

1 – Josh Buchan (M)

1 – Sam MacDonald (K)

1 – Tyler Burgess (K)

Valley v Excelsior

1 – Sam Sturgess (V)

1 – Matt Vocea (V)

1 – Blake Welsh (V)

2 – Samuela Babiau (E)

1 – Tayne Russell (E)