Otago under-19s in playoff for fifth place

A superb defensive effort from Otago has lifted the side into the playoff for fifth and sixth at the national under-19 championships in Taupo.

The Seilala Mapusua-coached side beat Waikato 21-10 yesterday to secure the spot. It will play Manawatu on Saturday. A top-five finish would represent a solid effort from the team.

The loose forward trio of Jake Russ, Sean Withy and Jeff Ikani led the defensive effort, while centre Simeon Latu and big prop Saula Ma'u scored tries.

Halfback James Arscott was dynamic and marshalled the attack nicely, while replacement first five-eighth Brayden Laing nailed some crucial shots at goal.

In other results, Counties Manukau piled on the points in the second half to dispatch Southland 81-12.

Auckland kicked a penalty in extra time against Wellington to win 21-18.

Hawke's Bay edged North Harbour 10-9.

Manawatu beat Auckland Development 36-24, while Heartland secured a 41-26 win against Northland.

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