Round of key clashes

As the Southern Region competition rounds the corner into the final stretch there are some key games this weekend which could make or break seasons.

Crescent and Clutha sit first and second on the table respectively. Both sides have locked in a top-four spot with four rounds remaining and face off against each other this weekend.

Crescent is two points ahead of Clutha and the winner of this game will be odds-on favourite to round off the regular season in first place.

Neither team will be at full strength due to a heavy injury toll. This gives replacement players the opportunity to stand up and play freely to catch the eye of their coaches.

With two trophies on the line, this match will still have the ferocity that any match between Clutha and Crescent should have but both teams can be relaxed in knowing that they will be playing semifinals footy this season.

Owaka is third on the table at this point - nine points behind Clutha and two in front of Heriot in fourth. The top four are 12 points clear of the chasing bunch.

Owaka travels to Clutha Valley which is fifth.

A bonus-point win for the Swamp Hens would enable them to lock in a semifinal spot for the first time in recent memory.

The challenge will be a stiff one, though, as Clutha Valley has found form having had a very tidy win over Heriot at Death Valley last weekend.

This game will be tight as both sides have plenty of incentives to fire them up.

Heriot sits in fourth and hosts Clinton this weekend. A win for the Death Valley Boys will enable them to all but make the semifinals if other results go their way as well.

Clinton has been playing confidently in recent weeks but has not managed to win the close ones. Clinton is, however, considered a bogey side for Heriot so anything can happen in this one.

Toko hosts Roxburgh in a bottom-four battle. It will be hard for either side to make the semifinals and the loser of this game will bow out of contention.

The game will be hard fought with both sides coming off losses last week. Toko will be favourite at home, if it can find enough fit players to put on the paddock.

 - Francis Parker 

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