Boyd Park hosts vital game for Valley
The scene is set for an exciting game of rugby when Thames Valley meet Poverty Bay in the Heartland Championship match to be played at Boyd Park, Te Aroha on Saturday.
This is the final round before the play offs and both teams are competing for a spot in the Lochore Cup semi-finals.
After returning from the West Coast with only a bonus point, Thames Valley now sit in eighth position, three points ahead of Poverty Bay.
It is virtually a winner take all situation, although Valley could sneak through if they lost by seven points or less, scored four tries and prevented Poverty Bay from scoring four tries.
It is fitting that Thames Valley’s 100th game in the Heartland competition is to be marked by such a crucial match.
In 2013 the Swamp Foxes last made a Lochore Cup semi-final. On that occasion they lost 8-14 against South Canterbury in Timaru.
They have won three of their seven games played so far this year scoring 175 points with 139 against and registering their best ever tally of six bonus points.
With their biggest loss this season only being by nine points the Valley have been highly competitive in every game played plus they have the second best defence in the competition so far.
Now they have the destiny of a semi-final spot in their own hands with this last bridge to cross but Poverty Bay also have everything to play for.
The Bay boys will be all fired up after coming off a big 42-29 win over King Country at Gisborne last weekend.
West Coast’s 24-17 victory over Thames Valley at Greymouth denied the Swamp Foxes of any chance of making the Meads Cup section of the Heartland Championship.
The Coasters got out to an early 7-0 lead but Thames Valley soon responded with a try to Tyrone Keith which Chris Doak converted.
Five minutes later a penalty try put the Swamp Foxes in front 14-7. Just before half time West Coast scored again to make the score at the break 14-all.
In the second half the home team scored two further tries but the Valley’s only contribution was a penalty by Jarrod Goodall which ensured the vital bonus point.
For the second week in a row Brett Ranga was named as the Valley’s most outstanding player.