Pace-setting Pioneer up to the mark

Division one and two teams played their final round-robin matches on Saturday.

Pioneer has been good enough to finish top qualifier in division one and put together its most consistent 80 minutes of the season on Saturday to beat Blues B 39-24 in front of a big crowd at Newman Park.

The Pioneer management was proud of how the forwards showed their skills and fitness and the backs played with width and accuracy.

Player of the day was second five-eighth Blake Korteweg in his first full game of the season.

Blues and Pioneer traded blows throughout the first half and went to the break with Pioneer slightly up on the scoreboard.

Pioneer took control early the second spell and built a commanding lead.

Blues fought back to get within seven points but Pioneer dug deep and earned victory.

Mossburn has won the Speight's Shield and the spoils that come with it for 2019 after winning its last round-robin match against Star B 55-5.

Mossburn started poorly and made hard work of the first 40 minutes against the bigger Star forward pack.

Mossburn got into its work early in the second half. No8 Ryan Carter was a standout, and Henry Benseman and Sasha Bachurin also played well.

Albion Excelsior booked the fourth semifinal position after drawing 33-33 with Wakatipu.

Albion got away to a 19-point lead before Wakatipu fought its way back into the game.

Albion Coach Richie Robinson was happy with the outcome.

"It was just the sort of hard-fought game we needed before next weekend's semi. Ben Miller had another big game and got a well-deserved player of the day.''

Waikiwi beat Waiau Star 36-31.

In division two, Mataura beat Riverton 28-15. The teams will meet again in this weekend's semifinal.

 - John Langford 

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