Kurow, Old Boys tied heading into final round-robin game

Kurow life members (from left) Wade Newlands, Barney McCone and Simon Taylor. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE
Kurow life members (from left) Wade Newlands, Barney McCone and Simon Taylor. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE
All eyes will be on one game this weekend.

It has been a ding-dong battle during this season’s Citizens Shield — with more movement on the table then anyone can keep up with — and tomorrow will be no different in the final round-robin games.

Kurow will host Old Boys up the Waitaki Valley, and with both teams on 22 points, and fighting for the final playoff spot, it is sure to be a big clash.

Old Boys head into the game in fourth spot. They have four wins, while Kurow have had just three wins but have collected 10 bonus points to stay in the hunt.

The Red Devils beat Old Boys 24-20 in the first round — marking Kurow’s first win of the season — and have shown real grit since.

They come into the game after a tough 24-22 loss to competition leaders Valley, after Kurow led at 17-7 at halftime.

Old Boys will be searching for a better start tomorrow, having trailed 24-0 at halftime against Athletic Marist last week.

But the visitors will also be buoyed by last year’s playoff result, where they beat Kurow, denying them a chance of a three-peat.

Valley (32 points) head out to Maheno (17) to face the green machine, who are the only side out of contention for the top four.

Excelsior (31) will head across the carpark to take on old rivals Athletic Marist (25).

Nothing could separate the two in the first round with a 17-17 draw, but neither will be happy with that result this time around.

Blues would love to get another victory to give themselves the best possible chance to reclaim top spot from Valley, while Athies — making a return to playoff rugby this season, having secured third place — want to continue their form.

There is always that added advantage of qualifying in the top two in North Otago.

When playoffs start next week, the top two play each other and the winner gets a week off before the final on July 13.

Meanwhile, third plays fourth in an elimination game and the winner of that game goes on to play the loser of the top-two playoff to advance to the final.