Toko has shown it is a serious Southern Region contender with a 27›22 win over Crescent at Kaitangata.
Toko was fast›paced and accurate from the start and played the far better rugby in the first half of the match.
It put together numerous phases of play on attack and was rewarded with points. Crescent suffered from poor execution and ill›discipline which kept it on the back foot.
Toko went into the sheds 17›5 ahead. Crescent bucked up its ideas in the second half though, and produced some scintillating rugby to fight its way back.
The remainder of the half went tit›for›tat, with Toko holding on to a slim lead with Crescent hot on attack. A dedicated and disciplined defensive effort from Toko on its own goal line forced a Crescent mistake and gave Toko a well›deserved win and the Eddie Scott Memorial Trophy. Toko was served well up front by hooker Kieran Calteaux and prop Kieran O’Sullivan. Lockie Finch was the pick of the Toko backs. Lock Aydan Edwards and fullback Clayton Cochrane were the pick of the players for the home side.
West Taieri has kept its top four hopes alive with a 26›21 win over Heriot at Heriot. It was a tight battle, with both sides having plenty of territory and possession. Heriot scored more tries than the visitors but was on the wrong side of the penalty count. West Taieri first five Callum Smeaton helped himself to 16 points off the tee, including four penalties, which was the difference.
Heriot paid for its inability to win a lineout and key errors at crucial times cost. The home side did show glimpses of structure on attack and was held up over the line at the final whistle to see it fall just short. West Taieri made the most of its opportunities and fully deserved its win. West Taieri forwards Reggie Masina and Jordan Bell were strong up front. Heriot outside backs Cam Morris and Connor McKenzie had strong matches.
Clutha Valley has moved to outright first in the competition with a 26›12 win over Owaka at Swamp Hen Park. Valley dominated territory and possession for the first half, with Owaka having to defend for the most part. When the home side secured a turnover, it would gift it back to Valley through poor execution.
Owaka’s discipline was also called into question with numerous offside penalties. Valley led 19›0 at the break with three first›half tries. The second half was a far more even contest, with Owaka enjoying its share of the ball. It outscored Valley two tries to one in the second half but could not close the gap.
Lawrence has picked up its first win of the season with a 32›26 win over Clinton at the Stables in Clinton. Lawrence put together a strong team effort, led by its forwards who set the platform.
Clinton played well in stages and finished the match strongly on the back of a dominant set piece, but Lawrence had a big enough lead to hold on to.