Thrilling rugby finds Southern Region semifinalists

Jordan Willocks scores a try for Clutha Valley despite the efforts of Clutha fullback Zak Thoms....
Jordan Willocks scores a try for Clutha Valley despite the efforts of Clutha fullback Zak Thoms. PHOTO: SI LEEDS
The last round of matches in the Southern Region competition produced three final-minute wins and a blowout.

The semifinals have been decided.

Clutha will host Heriot in the first semifinal next weekend and Crescent will host Owaka in the second.

Clutha sealed first place with a convincing 50-21 win over Clutha Valley at Clydevale.

Valley held the ball and went into halftime 14-12 ahead, as Clutha's poor discipline in the first half hurt it.

But Clutha upped the tempo in the second spell and ran the Valley side around the park.

Its backs relished their opportunities and scored some nice tries.

Clutha winger Robin Fesilafai scored a hat-trick to take his season tally to 22, while first five Matt Korteweg directed play well.

Lock Todd Holgate and midfielder Matt Barton also stood out for Clutha.

Toko defeated Crescent for the first time in three years to lock away the much-coveted Eddie Scott Memorial Trophy for the summer.

The final score was 35-30 to the Milton side in an even game.

The teams swapped tries in the first half and produced some scintillating rugby.

Toko made inroads up the middle and looked to have the wood over Crescent up front.

The home Toko side went into halftime 21-15 ahead, and with the momentum.

Once again both teams swapped tries in the second half, and continued the exciting passages of play.

With the score at 28-27 to Toko, Crescent kicked a penalty to put it ahead with not long remaining.

Toko started the last phase of the game 70m from the try line.

It worked its way into the Crescent half and scored the match-winning try.

Lock Michael Tuari had a very strong game for Toko. He made metres all day and tackled well.

Nic Shaw scored a double for the home side and led his side well from the pivot position.

Simon Knight and Josh Beer-Williams added power and composure off the bench.

Beer-Williams was instrumental in setting up the match-winning try for winger Arnold Dinh.

Owaka won the battle for third spot with an epic 23-22 win over Heriot at Heriot.

The home side dominated territory and possession in the first half due to Owaka's poor discipline.

When Owaka found itself in the Heriot red zone though, it scored points, and it went into halftime 18-12 ahead.

Possession and territory evened up in the second half as the home side took the lead.

Owaka mounted one last attack and scored out wide with a nicely-worked try to replacement winger Matt Sinclair to snatch a one-point lead with time almost up.

Owaka managed to hold on to secure its first win over Heriot in 10 years.

Clinton picked up its second win of the season with a 25-24 win over Roxburgh at Clinton.

Roxburgh scored one more try than Clinton, but the boot of Jacob Beal-Harris made the difference. Clinton captain Mark McKenzie scored a brace and was outstanding for his side.

 - FRANCIS PARKER

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