Historic victory for South Canterbury in Bunnings Heartland Championship

web copy

South Canterbury ran in three tries, two of them to wing Sireli Buliruarua, to one by Thames Valley. South Canterbury had previously twice won the Lochore Cup in 2013 and 2019, since the introduction of the trophies in the 2006 season.


Whanganui beat North Otago 22-16 to win the Lochore Cup for the third time. It previously won the trophy in the 2009 and 2016 seasons. It also won the Meads Cup in 2007, 2010 and 2019.


In the newly-introduced Bill Osborne Taonga,Poverty Bay beat Mid Canterbury 33-26 in Gisborne in the playoff for fifth and sixth places.


Scores were:


Meads Cup


South Canterbury 35 Thames Valley 16


South Canterbury 35 (Sireli Buliruarua 2, Cam Russell tries; Sam Briggs con, 6 pen) Thames Valley 16 (Ben Stephens try; Todd Doolan con, 3 pen). HT: 18-13



Lochore Cup


Whanganui 22 North Otago 16


Whanganui 22 (Aekesio Vakarorogo, Semi Vodosese tries; Ethan Robinson 4 pen) North Otago16 (Levi Emery try; Abel Magalolo con, 3 pen). HT: 12-3



Bill Osborne Taonga


Poverty Bay 33 Mid Canterbury 26


Poverty Bay 33 (James Higgins, Stefan Destounis, Jarryd Broughton 2 tries; Kelvin Smith 2 con, 3 pen) Mid Canterbury 26 (Callum Barrell, Raitube Vasurakuta tries; Tom Reekie con, 4 pen). HT: 13-10