Tiebreaker needed to sort out top teams

The calculators have well and truly come out in North Otago.

Nobody could have predicted a three-way tie to finish the final round robin games in the Citizens Shield leading to a scramble to determine who would make the playoffs.

Athletic Marist, Kurow and Old Boys all finished the regular season on 25 points on Saturday, after Kurow and Old Boys drew 33-33 and Athies were beaten 27-15 by Excelsior.

That forced a tiebreaker between three teams, which came down to the number of competition points each team were awarded when they played each other.

After going back over the six games throughout the season, Kurow came out on top with 15 points. Athies had 13, while Old Boys (10) have been knocked out.

The decision will be ratified by the club council this afternoon.

Valley earned top spot and will host Excelsior in the major playoff this weekend, while Kurow, who finished third, will host Athies.

It was a back-and-forth affair between Kurow and Old Boys on Saturday but the home side scored first through Mitch Scott.

Scott played a role in the next try, but unfortunately it was for the opposition.

As Old Boys halfback Alex Wilson dashed towards the line, Scott brought him down just short but the tackle was high.

The referee awarded a penalty try and Scott was sent to the bin.

Both sides traded tries before Scott returned and the Red Devils took the lead just before halftime off some lovely link play that put Hayden Todd in a gap to score.

Old Boys seemingly caught a second wind to start the second half as they ran in two quick tries to hold a seven-point lead.

Just as the game seemed to be slipping away, the Red Devils hit back.

Ben Nowell drew in his defender before popping an inside ball to Sam Keno, who burst through the hole to score and tie the game up.

Things started to unravel for Old Boys as Harry Campbell was sent off for a high tackle without the ball with 20 minutes to go.

Never a side to give up, they were able to regain the lead through a counter-attack.

After a strong defensive effort they turned the ball over, and a put break down the left wing.

They swung it back out to the right and Tevita Vonotabua found a gap to score.

With under five minutes remaining, Kurow slowly worked their way down field.

Once they got in the 22, Scott got involved and dotted down for his second try and helped Kurow snag a draw.

Defending champions Valley finished top of the table after a 33-10 win over Maheno.

They came roaring out the gates, opening up a 28-0 lead at halftime.

Despite Maheno’s best efforts to claw their way back, it was too big a hole to climb out of.

Bragging rights go to Excelsior on the battle of the carpark for 2024.

They drew with Athletic Marist in their first game, but Blues got the job done 27-15.