Valley hosting Crescent in key clash

Round three of the Southern Region competition features two of the three unbeaten sides facing off in one of the matches of the round.

Clutha Valley hosts Crescent in a top-of-the-table clash. Both sides are in form after big wins last weekend.

Valley demolished Toko at Milton without conceding while Crescent was too strong for Clutha in the grudge match at Kai. Both forward packs have been in good touch, but it has been both sets of backs which have dominated their opponents.

Keep an eye out for Valley fullback Brayden Wilson and Crescent pivot Chase Owen to create from the back.

West Taieri, the other unbeaten side, travels to Owaka to take on the Swamp Hens who had a win last weekend over Clinton.

West Taieri flexed its muscle up front against Heriot and had the game won at halftime.

Owaka did not put a complete performance together against Clinton but will take the bonus-point win. West Taieri prop Ethan Hippolite has four tries in two games and has been making solid metres.

For Owaka, flanker Reuben McLay is bringing up 50 games and hooker Francis Parker will play his 150th for the club.

Clutha hosts Heriot in a key match for both sides. It is very rarely that these two face each other after both losing matches the week before.

Clutha had enough possession to beat Crescent but its errors let it down. Heriot’s second half was promising against West Taieri so it will hope to build on that. Clutha’s combinations seem to be improving. First five-eighth Zak Thoms is embracing his new position and linking up well with his outsides. Winger Sam Viliamu needs the ball more to work his magic. Heriot’s backs stood up last weekend. Centre Clayton Buchanan has been playing well.

Clinton and Toko face off in the bottom-of-the-table clash. The loser of this match will find it very hard to push for a finals spot. Both sides are putting decent passages of play together but not for sustained periods. Clinton fullback Kurt Thompson has been a bright light at the back for Clinton. Toko captain Dylan Greer and prop Michael Aitken have been Toko’s best.

 - Francis Parker 

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