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West Taieri has finished the round-robin season unbeaten.
It finished the round with a 34-29 win over Crescent in a top-of-the-table battle at Kaitangata.
Crescent started the better.
It had fire in the belly and made inroads early on.
Crescent took a 17-7 lead into halftime — the first time West Taieri has been down at halftime all season.
When Crescent got the ball wide, it found plenty of space and the outside backs scored some nice tries.
West Taieri did not panic and scored fairly late in the piece to take the win.
West Taieri has deserved every bit of success so far this season. It has hit the ground running and looms as the favourite to win the whole competition.
The forwards were well led by flanker Conner Jenkins and lock Ben Davidson.
Crescent’s backs had the wood on their opposites for the most part, with Chase Owen and Nico Burgess having strong games.
Clutha Valley beat Clinton 36-10 at Clinton to finish second overall and lock away the South Otago banner for the season as well as booking a home semifinal.
It was cruising at 24-0 ahead at fulltime.
When Valley found possession it was clinical and it scored two further second-half tries.
Valley’s win was built on a solid platform set by the forwards. Prop Hamish Wilson and flanker Conrad Williams put in two massive 80-minute shifts.
Clinton first five-eighth Jack Clayton had a strong game as he led his side around with confidence.
Clutha has secured fourth place with a tight 19-12 win over Owaka at Balclutha.
Clutha made the most of limited possession in the first half to go into halftime 12-5 ahead. Owaka had more territory and possession in the first spell, but errors at key times let it down again.
Both defences held firm all game and it was a case of Clutha making fewer mistakes to take the win.
Clutha’s pack was led well by No8 Scott Hollows and prop Daniel Miller. Craig McCormick, Chris Preddy and Cameron Burgess were strong up front for Owaka.
Heriot has put together another dominating performance, beating Toko 66-21 at Death Valley to secure fifth spot on the ladder.
After scoring early in the first half, Heriot allowed Toko some time in possession which it took with both hands, scoring two tries.
The second half was one-way traffic as Toko’s lack of depth and continued bad run of injuries caught up with it.
West Taieri will take on Clutha and Clutha Valley will face Crescent in the semifinals this weekend.
- Francis Parker