Kurow is right back into finals contention after a 22-21 win at home over Old Boys.
It now sits six points behind fourth-placed Maheno with four rounds to play.
Playing at home, Kurow muscled up against Old Boys’ formidable forwards, leading 16-7 at halftime.
Old Boys fought back to regain the lead 21-19, but with 10 minutes to go, Kurow worked its way upfield and earned a penalty more than 40 metres out.
Kurow’s first-five Tyler Burgess, who had already kicked four penalties and converted his own try, stepped up and belted it through the uprights.
Old Boys regained the ball from the kick-off, but could not hold it and Kurow came away with a well-deserved win.
At Maheno, the Valley machine rolled on, dominating up front and controlling the game against a slightly rusty home side.
Right from the outset, Valley’s tight five got stuck in. It was solid at the set piece and secured plenty of possession and territory.
Valley took a 21-5 lead into halftime, and controlled the game to win 42-12 and cement its position at the top of the table.
Athletic Marist was forced to default to Excelsior after a number of players failed to turn up on Saturday, leaving its coach Graham Pitches very frustrated.
The biggest game this week is undoubtedly Kurow and Maheno, in what is close to a must-win match for both teams.
A big win to Kurow would bring the teams to almost level pegging on points, although much could change in the following three rounds.
Maheno should have Robbie Smith back, and its players who have returned from injury should be fitter.
Excelsior and Valley play for the third time this season. While Valley has won the previous two encounters, Excelsior has been very competitive.
Athletic Marist Waitaki Wahine had a big win against Green Island, 79-5, at Miller Park in Dunedin on Saturday.
Emma Leonard, playing at second-five, helped herself to 27 points with three tries and six conversions.
The Wahine plays Alhambra-Union at Whitestone Contracting Stadium at 1pm tomorrow.
Waitaki Boys’ High School was upset by Dunstan High School, 19-12, in Oamaru on Saturday.
The Oamaru schoolboys failed to make the most of a strong wind behind them in the first half, and the score was 7-7 at the break.
Dunstan made better use of the conditions, leaving Waitaki Boys’ coach Wayne Kinzett disappointed.
“We had our chances but we just had an off day, and Dunstan played well.”
Semisi Kaufusi and Ben Paton scored tries for Waitaki, while Mason James added a conversion.
Flanker Will Knight had a strong game.
St Kevin’s College lost 24-0 to King’s High School.
Tupou and Paea Fifita were standouts in the St Kevin’s pack, while Frano Flannery again played well, this time in his more natural position of centre.
St Kevin’s coach Robbie Breen was encouraged by what he saw from his team.
“We played really well and had a couple of tries disallowed that could have changed the game, but thatis rugby.”
St Kevin’s has already played three of the top four schools in the competition and sits just outside the middle eight, which it targeted at the start of the season.
Breen described the next six weeks as “season defining”.
Citizens Shield – Round 11 scores
Kurow 22 (Tyler Burgess try; Burgess con, 5 pen) Old Boys 21 (Kelepi Funaki, Toni Taufa, Taani Vaitohi tries; Lemi Masoe 3 con)
Valley 42 (Scott Ruddle, Meli Kolinisau, Jake Greenslade, Dylan Edwards, Matt Vocea, Howard Packman tries; Brad McKenzie 6 con) Maheno 12 (Jackson Attfield, Hayden Hastie tries; Josh Buchan con)
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