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Thames Valley Heartland rugby team to take on undefeated Buller side

Thames Valley returns to the Paeroa Domain this week, for the visit of the as yet unbeaten, Buller team.

After three rounds of the Mitre 10 Heartland rugby championship, the Westport-based team has disposed of South Canterbury, West Coast and North Otago in successive weeks to sit in third place on the ladder on 12 points, underlining their status as one of the competition’s best performed teams.

Buller has a strong record in the Heartland championship, making the final of the Meads Cup in 2014 and again last year along with three appearances in the Lochore Cup final with a win over South Canterbury in 2012 being the highlight.

The record between the two sides favours Buller in the Heartland champs, with Buller having won four out of the six games played since 2006.

The good news for the local side is that they won the last two home games against Buller but that was back in 2013 and 2011 respectively.

The team lists are not available at this time but the referee is Richard Gordon who also controlled last week’s game against Horowhenua Kapiti in Levin.

The start time for this game has been brought forward to 1.30pm to accommodate the flight travel plans of the Buller team.

The Thames Valley Development Team travels to the Hamilton Marist club ground to play the Waikato Under 85kg team in round four of their competition.

Currently leading the competition, coach Peter O’Connor will be looking for more of the determination his players showed last week when they face the Mooloo men.

Waikato has been on a lean run and its win against Counties Manukau last week was the team’s first win in almost two years. With North Harbour hot on their heels on the points ladder, Thames Valley needs a win to hold on to top spot.

The Under 18s take on the New Zealand Harlequins at Centennial Park at 12pm as part of the curtain-raiser programme for the Heartland game.

The fixture has been moved because of ground conditions at the Paeroa Domain. The Under 16s play Waikato at 10.30am at Centennial Park for the same reason. This game is also part of the curtain-raiser programme for the Heartland game.

The Roller Mills team has a break this week but the under 45kg team has the final round of competition at Boyd Park, Te Aroha on Sunday.

Sitting in second place on the table, Thames Valley plays Hamilton Gold at 11am and King Country at 1pm and needs to win both to have a shot at winning the competition.

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