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.

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