Semifinalists emerge from clashes

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RUGBY REPORTER
THE top four teams have been decided with one round left in the Southern region season, but the order of the four remains up in the air.
Owaka v Clutha Valley
Leader Clutha Valley is still unbeaten after a 27-14 win over Owaka last Saturday to retain the Bryan Price Trophy.
The first half was a wrestle, neither side giving an inch. Both conceded a penalty try and were reduced to 14 players with players in the sin bin at different times of the half.
Owaka looked good when it stuck to its structure but again failed to execute it for long periods. Valley was more than competitive at ruck time and managed to grab some crucial turnovers.
Clutha Valley led 12-7 at halftime and dominated much of the second half as it bossed territory and possession.
Valley scored three tries to extend the lead before Owaka finished the match on the front foot, scoring a try right on fulltime.
West Taieri v Toko
West Taieri keep second place with a comfortable 46-5 win over Toko in Milton.
The scoreline does not match how intense the match was, particularly in the first half as the visiting side was only ahead by 10-5. West Taieri then dominated the forward collisions, which allowed its improving back line to score some nice tries.
West Taieri centre Will Scorgie had a strong game. He was hard to stop with ball in hand, put in some telling tackles and scored a brace of tries.
Winger Haughton Gilbert also grabbed a double, while Conner Jenkins continued his stellar form up front with plenty of support from Arlen Docherty and Ben Scorgie.
Toko put in another honest shift. Michael Phillip was immense up front and Matt Lyon was a brick wall on defence. Brad Frost had another strong game at fullback and Dion Shaw was strong in the second half.
Heriot v Roxburgh
Heriot cemented its top-four position, toppling bottom-of-thetable Roxburgh 50-0 at Heriot.
Heriot ran in nine unanswered tries to romp home after leading 24-0 at the break.
Prop Neta Masunu Utumapu had a rampaging match up front, scoring three tries. No 8 Josh Buchanan also excelled, while Stacey McKinnel and Hauraki Heurea were the pick of the Roxburgh players.
Crescent vClinton
Crescent’s 39-20 win over Clinton at Clinton was not enough to secure it a semifinal spot, because other results did not go its way.
Clinton proved it has one of the best scrums in the competition, pushing Crescent back numerous times, but Crescent warmed up in the second half and drew away with some help from the bench.
Andy Carruthers and Liam Sell were strong up front for Crescent, and Jackson Cook showed his ability at first five. Aaron Lupton and Josh Hurring played well up front for Clinton, while Michael Beattie and Jerome Waller were the pick of the backs.

3. Way through . . . Near Toko’s line, West Taieri’s Luke Moeke (with ball) tries to barge his way through their defences during their Southern region rugby match on Saturday at Milton. West Taieri won 46 – 5. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE
Scored. . . In the first half, West Taieri’s Haughton Gilbert touches down after through the Toko defences to score during their Southern region rugby match on Saturday at Milton. West Taieri won 46 – 5. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE
Missed . . . West Taieri’s Conner Jenkins breaks out of a tackle by Toko’s Fareni Young and races to score under the posts in the second half of their Southern region rugby match on Saturday at Milton. West Taieri won 46 – 5. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE
2. Gottcha . . . West Taieri’s Ryan Sutherland tackled by Toko’s Fareni Young during their Southern region rugby match on Saturday at Milton. West Taieri won 46 – 5. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE