Thames Valley finished top of the table in the Mitre 10 Heartland Rugby championship when beating King Country 37-15 on Saturday.
That ensured the defending Meads Cup champions home advantage in next week’s semifinals. Only three points separated the top four teams who will contest the trophy
They will face a tough game against Wanganui who bounced back from a poor start to the competition to claim fourth place after a 38-15 win over neighbours Horowhenua Kapiti on Saturday.
North Otago, who finished second equal on 29 points with Wairarapa Bush, will host the other semifinal as a result of their beating the northerners in regular season play.
Horowhenua-Kapiti who won the Lochore Cup last season missed out on the Semi Finals. While Wairarapa Bush can look at going one better after losing last season’s Lochore Cup by making this this Seasons Meads Final with a win on the Road to Oamaru.
West Coast finished highest in the qualifiers for the Lochore Cup and will host Poverty Bay in their semifinal next weekend.
West Coast beat South Canterbury 27-24 in a close contest on Saturday.
Poverty Bay went down 26-36 to Buller.
Buller will host the other semifinal against South Canterbury.
Mitre 10 Heartland Championship Week 8 results:
1️⃣5️⃣ King Country (Alex Thrupp, Liam Rowlands tries; Zayne Tipping con; Evaan Reihana pen)
3️⃣7️⃣ Thames Valley (Harry Lafituanai 3, Regan Crosland tries; Reece Boughton 4 con, 3 pen). HT: 3-30
1️⃣0️⃣ Mid Canterbury (Matt Groom try; Corey McKay con, pen)
3️⃣1️⃣ Wairarapa Bush (Bruce Kauika Petersen 2, Raneira Petersen, Logan Hebenton-Prendeville, Brock Price tries; Tim Priest 3 con). HT: 3-14
2️⃣4️⃣ South Canterbury (Siu Kakala, Miles Medlicott, Zac Saunders, Clarence Moli tries; Willie Wright 2 con)
2️⃣7️⃣ West Coast (Jarrod Ferguson, Sean McClure, Steve Soper, Jade Coleman, Logan Winter tries; McClure con). HT: 17-5
3️⃣6️⃣ Buller (Jack Best, Anthony Ellis, Louis Devery, Iliesa Ravudra, Mitieli Kaloudigibeci tries; James Lash 3 con, pen; Andrew Stephens con)
2️⃣6️⃣ Poverty Bay (Beaudein Waaka 2, Tane McGuire, Tamanui Hill tries; Waaka 3 con). HT:
2️⃣9️⃣ East Coast (Tawhao Stewart, Hakarangi Tichborne, Epeli Lotawa, Adaam Ross, Hoana Te Moana tries; Sam Parks 2 con)
6️⃣1️⃣ North Otago (Sam Sturgess 2, Jacob Coughlan 2, Ralph Darling 2, Jake Greenslade, Kelepi Funaki, Robbie Smith tries; Smith 7 con; Anthony Arty con). HT: 10-35
1️⃣5️⃣ Horowhenua Kapiti (Willie Paia’aua, Cody Hemi tries; Himiona Henare con, pen)
3️⃣8️⃣ Wanganui (Kamipeli Latu, Amos Pogia, Vereniki Tikoisolomone 3, Raymond Salu tries; Nick Harding 3 con; Dane Whale con). HT: 8-14