by Jonathan Leask – Waitaki Herald
The Citizens Shield playoff picture is still a blue heading into the ﬁnal round.
What is clear is Old boys and Valley will host the semifinals but who they will line up against wont be finalised until the ﬁnal contenders for Citizens Shield still unclear whistle of the regular season.
Athletic’Marist played the spoiler, tipping up Excelsior 33-31 while defending champions Maheno kept in the playoff hunt with a 23-20 win over Valley — who only seven days prior had toppled Old Boys in the wet.
Old Boys got straight back into winning ways, beating Kurow 33-22.
That means that after 14 of 15 rounds, Old Boys (66 points) remain way out in front and are still favourites to win a sixth title in seven years.
Despite the loss to Maheno, Valley are sitting comfortably in second (44).
Excelsior (31), last year’s wooden spooners, are clinging to third with Maheno (29) and Kurow (28)
in striking distance.
Maheno and Kurow have the prime opportunity to leap frog up the table with Excelsior set to meet Old Boys.
However, Kurow will need to see otf Valley, which they have once already this season, and Maheno must beat Athletic-Marist for a third time.
Either way, for two sides Saturday is the last time lacing up the boots for the 2017 club rugby season.