South Canterbury romped to a 43-22 win over Mid Canterbury to rock their chances of contesting the Lochore Cup final as they slipped to a share of fifth place on 20 points with North Otago, who suffered a 12-45 loss to Whanganui.
Whanganui sit in third place two points ahead of Horowhenua Kapiti who leap-frogged North Otago and Mid Canterbury to sit fourth on 23 points.
To confirm their places in the Lochore Cup final, being contested by the third and fourth-placed teams this year, Whanganui will need at least one point from their away game with Thames Valley in Te Aroha while Horowhenua Kapiti is away to Poverty Bay, who went down to neighbouring East Coast 28-31 on Saturday.
Home advantage for the Lochore Cup final will be the incentive for Whanganui to go for a win.
Scores from the weekend were:
Thames Valley 50 King Country 15
Thames Valley 50 (Will Newbold, Todd Doolan, Leeroy Neels, Sione Vakapuna Etoni, Josh Kano tries; Penalty try; Doolan 3 con, 4 pen) King Country 15 (Nathaniel Smith, Sio Tapili tries; John Ika con, pen). HT: 18-10
Buller 14 West Coast 22
Buller 14 (Erenimo Tau try; Jesse Pitman-Joass 3 pen) West Coast 22 (Ethan Simpson, Steven Soper, Joseph Scott tries; Sean McClure 2 con, pen). HT: 7-11
Poverty Bay 28 East Coast 31
Poverty Bay 28 (Stefan Detounis, Kelvin Smith, Shayde Skudder, Jarryd Broughton tries; Smith 4 con) East Coast 31 (Ngarohi McGarvey-Black 2, Jorian Tangaere 2, Sam Parkes tries; Te Rangi Fraser 3 con). HT: 14-7
Horowhenua Kapiti 37 Wairarapa Bush 14
Horowhenua Kapiti 37 (Lennix Tovo 2, Kahn Fotuali'i, 2 AN Other tries; Jack Tatu-Robertson) Wairarapa Bush 14 (Lewis Bush try; Tipene Haira 3 pen). HT: 15-6
South Canterbury 43 Mid Canterbury 22
South Canterbury 43 (Kalavini Leatigaga 2, William Wright, Sam Briggs, Luke Glen tries; Briggs 3 con, 4 pen) Mid Canterbury 22 (Lote Nasiga, Nick Foxley, Seta Koroitamana tries; Tom Reekie 2 con, pen). HT: 20-8
Whanganui 45 North Otago 12
Whanganui 45 (Lindsay Horrocks, Te Rangatira Waitokia, Mathew Taula Fili 2, Craig Clare, Josiah Bogileka tries; Ethan Robinson 3 pen; Clare 3 con, pen) North Otago 12 (Sean Jansen, Owen Davey tries; Abel Malalogo con). HT: 21-0