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Crescent kept the top-four battle interesting with a last-minute 22-21 win over West Taieri at Outram on Saturday.
Crescent had the greater share of territory and possession in the first spell, although the 8-8 halftime scoreline did not reflect its dominance.
West Taieri came back into the match in the second half and took the lead.
Crescent mounted one last attack and scored through flanker Andy Carruthers.
Fullback Chase Owen calmly slotted to conversion to give his side the win and four competition points.
Crescent props Mafi Demont and Lester Papali’i had strong matches, while teammate Harley McHardy showed his versatility, having to slot into halfback.
Steve Green and Conor Beaton were the home side’s best up front.
Callum Smeaton and Isaac Timoko were the pick of the backs.
Clutha moved above West Taieri into second with a 49-15 win over Clinton at the Balclutha Showgrounds.
A fantastic opening 15 minutes from the home side resulted in it scoring four tries.
Clinton fought back with two first-half tries and restricted the score to 25-10 at the break.
The second half fell to bits as Clutha lacked structure.
Clutha hooker Tyler Haua had a strong match, along with flanker Kurt Turnbull. Kane Teunissen helped himself to four tries on the wing, taking his season’s tally to 12.
Clinton’s midfield combination of Jarryd Tuhou and Jerome Waller were impressive. Halfback Ben Winter also had a strong match.
Heriot kept itself firmly in the finals mix with a 46-10 win over Toko at Heriot.
Heriot went into halftime 22-5 ahead and its forwards led the way in the second half.
Toko’s lack of depth through injuries resulted in uncontested scrums in the second half which allowed it to attack from the scrum. Toko had its fair share of the ball, but Heriot was more clinical.
Heriot utility Mark McKenzie scored two tries on the wing and caused havoc with ball in hand. Prop Neta Masunu also scored a double.
Flanker Nick Hayes had a strong match and Logan Cornish directed play well in the halves. Toko flanker Dylan Greer and lock Kaleb Hayes were strong up front.
Nick Shaw and Scott Anderson combined well in the centres.
Owaka escaped Roxburgh with a 22-20 win, after Roxburgh missed a conversion on fulltime to draw the match.
Roxburgh led 10-8 at halftime but Owaka had the rub of the green in the second spell and looked to have sealed the deal with a late try while Roxburgh had two men in the sin-bin.
Roxburgh fullback Pete Aitken had other ideas, scything through some lethargic Owaka defence to score handy to the posts. A draw would have been a fair result, but the conversion was missed.
Owaka skipper Craig McCormick had a strong match up front.
- By Francis Parker