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Kurow, Athletic Marist and Old Boys won the first round of the knockout preview to the finals of the Citizens Shield in North Otago club rugby on Saturday.
Kurow, which had upset Old Boys in the competition the previous week, carried on its form when it beat the more favoured Valley 36-31.
Athletic Marist was too strong for Excelsior, running out to a 40-25 victory.
Old Boys dealt to Maheno 38-19 to complete the qualifying round.
Kurow made its intentions early in the game, leading 26-14 at halftime. It had led 19-7 midway through the half before Valley’s Cameron Rowland closed the gap at halftime.
Prop Meli Kolinisau and Ben Paton got within eight points, 29-21, and a Paton try and conversion reduced the gap to a solitary point, 29-28.
Paton kicked a penalty to put Valley into a 31-29 lead late in the game but Sam McDonald's try and conversion dragged Kurow out to a 36-31 victory.
Athletic Marist was too strong for Excelsior in the second game, battling out to a 14-6 halftime lead and extending this to a 40-25 fulltime lead.
A try to Athletic’s impressive first first five-eighth Abel Magalogo extended the lead to 19-6 before replacement Sosaia Fonua crossed for an Excelsior try.
This pair swapped tries to take Athletic out to a 26-18 lead.
Athletic lock Misinale Fifita extended the lead to 33-18.
Replacement Taniela Halalilo’s try took Athletic out to 40-18 before Excelsior’s Hamish Slater touched down to confirm the 40-25 supremacy of Athletic.
Old Boys made no race of it with Maheno in the final game of the afternoon, coasting to a 38-19 win.
Old Boys bolted out to a 26-7 advantage, and an unconverted try gave it a 31-7 halftime lead.
Old Boys maintained the pressure, and although Marcus Balchin and Forrest Beer touched down for Maheno, Old Boys deserved the 19-point margin.
- Terry O'Neill