Home semifinals for Crescent, West Taieri

Junior Meafua
Junior Meafua
The premier club semifinals are set in the Southern Region.

Top qualifiers Crescent will host Clutha Valley in Kaitangata, and Clutha will head to Outram to play West Taieri.

Crescent finished top of the ladder after the round robin, but it was Clutha Valley who took the spoils in their clash at Clydevale on Saturday.

Valley dominated much of the game and walked away with a 32-20 win as well as the South Otago banner, John Cross Cup and Springbok Horns.

The teams traded tries to be locked at 10-10 midway through the first half with the physicality of the game taking its toll.

Valley finished the half strongly with a penalty and a try to go into the break 18-10 ahead.

They scored a crucial try straight after halftime to extend their lead and put Crescent on the back foot.

Valley winger Jaxon Evans then scored his second try on the hour mark to pretty much put the game to bed.

Crescent replied twice late in the piece through midfielder Ethan Edwards, who sealed his hat-trick in the 80th minute. That proved crucial as it gave Crescent the bonus point that took them to the top of the table.

Clutha retained the Art Bloxham Cup with a hard-fought 39-29 win over Owaka at Swamp Hen Park.

The home side flew out of the blocks with an early try and plenty of offensive pressure, though Clutha soaked that up and managed to clear their lines well.

Owaka used the wind smartly and were camped in Clutha territory for large periods of the first half, and their scrum functioned well. They led 19-12 at halftime.

Clutha were on the back foot early in the second half before an intercept try to winger Junior Meafua changed the momentum of the game completely.

Meafua ran 70m to score a try, and from the resulting kickoff, Clutha scored quickly again to take the lead.

The teams traded tries from there, and Clutha were leading 31-29 in the dying stages. With both benches emptied, Clutha’s scrum began to find its feet and a key penalty put them in Owaka’s red zone, where they scored at the death to extend the score.

Lawrence locked away the West Otago Shield for the summer with a 14-12 win over Heriot on Friday night.

It was a typical night game, with the moisture causing havoc and unforced errors seemed to be the norm.

Heriot led 12-7 at halftime thanks to tries from Elliott Hancox and Ethan Jane.

The second half was dominated by Heriot, but they could not penetrate a determined Lawrence defensive line.

Lawrence took the lead through a 50m individual effort from skipper Jake Lyders. Heriot threw everything they had at the Lawrence line towards the end but could not score.

Toko gave Liam Kingma an ideal present in his 100th game with a 19-17 win over Clinton at Milton.

Toko dominated the first half but could only take a 12-5 lead into the break.

An early try extended Toko’s lead before Clinton scored three unanswered tries to almost snatch a draw at the death, but the conversion was missed.

By Francis Parker