Valley climbs to top of the table with solid victory

Valley moved to the top of the Citizens Shield with a 34-26 win over Old Boys at Weston Park, scoring five tries to Old Boys' four.

Maheno moved into second place with a 30-22 win over fourth-placed Excelsior.

On Friday at Whitestone Stadium, in a match marred by the absence of a programme, Kurow scored eight tries to beat Athletic Marist 44-19 and move to 10 points off the top four in fifth.

The powerful Valley forward pack laid the foundation for its win.

Fiery flanker Junior Fakatoufifita opened the account in the 13th minute with the first of his two tries, which first five-eighth Brad McKenzie converted.

Fakatoufifita repeated the dose 18 minutes from halftime, and McKenzie added the extras.

Later in the second quarter Boys' blindside flanker Toni Taufa touched down for first five-eighth Inoke Naufahu to convert.

Eight minutes from halftime, Valley prop Meli Kolinisau scored, before Old Boys midfielder Lemi Masoe replied to reduce the deficit to seven at 19-12.

Tries in the last quarter for Valley to Kolinisau and second five-eighth Dylan Edwards, with one conversion by McKenzie, took Valley up to 31, with McKenzie also adding a penalty.

Old Boys, with a late burst from No 8 Sami Tongotongo, also added a further two tries, and both were converted by Naufahu to take it within eight points at fulltime.

Maheno moved into second place when it defeated Excelsior 30-22 at the Maheno Domain.

Maheno halfback Robbie Smith touched down five minutes into the game, but five minutes later Excelsior winger Kayne Middleton levelled the score with an unconverted try.

A try to Excelsior right winger Tayne Russell 15 minutes from halftime was coverted by halfback Tarm Crow.

The lead was reversed minutes before halftime though with a try to Maheno flanker Jack Attfield and a Smith penalty, giving the home side a 13-12 halftime lead.

An early second half penalty by Crow put Excelsior into a 15-13 lead, but Robbie Smith matched it to put Maheno back in front 16-15.

Maheno prop Peter Armstrong then scored the first of his two tries, which was converted by Smith, and took Maheno's lead out to 23-15.

Twelve minutes from fulltime, Excelsior fullback Hamish Slater scored for Crow to convert and get his team within a point of Maheno.

But Armstrong's second try and Smith's conversion carried the home side to a 30-22 victory.

Without the availability of a programme patrons were left mostly in the dark, metaphorically, as Kurow beat Athletic Marist 44-19 on the main ground in Oamaru.

Kurow led 17-12 at halftime with Ryan Ambler, Tyler Burgess and Angus Norrie scoring tries, one of which was converted by Burgess.

Hooker Joshua Thomas and Simon Lillicama touched down for Athletic and halfback Anthony Arty added a conversion.

Second half tries to Sione Kaufusi, Jesse Porter, Joel Richards, Dean Fenwick and Lachlan Templeton, plus a conversion from Burgess, completed the scoring for Kurow, while Athletic Marist's No8 Sonatane Tuiono added a try which Arty converted.

 - Terry O'Neill

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