King Country has a mathematical chance of pushing for a place in the top four for the Meads Cup but faces a daunting prospect to succeed.
King Country is at home to North Otago and would require to win, take a bonus point, and deny North Otago a loser's bonus point to edge in.
However, the Brian Lochore Trophy section is proving much more competitive with King Country (20 points), Mid Canterbury and East Coast (18 points), Buller (16) and Horowhenua Kapiti (15) likely to contest the four places.
Poverty Bay pulled off the surprise of the round when beating Thames Valley 29-17 in Gisborne while East Coast retained the Bill Osborne Taonga in their 20-16 victory over Wairarapa Bush.
Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship Results – Week 7
Buller 30 (Anthony Ellis, Isei Lewaqai, Iliesa Tora, Jack Parker tries; Parker 2 con, 2 pen) King Country 44 (Zack Wickham-Darlington 3, Puka Malo 2, Karney Dunster, Liam Rowlands tries; Zarn Tipping 3 con; Wickham-Darlington pen). HR: 20-14
East Coast 20 (Scorers not provided) Wairarapa Bush 16 (Charles Mataitai, Soli Malatai tries; Aidan Champion pen; Tipene Haira pen).
Horowhenua Kapiti 28 (Kody Edwards, Tautau Kapea, Callum Watts-pointer, Trevor Owen tries; Jack Tatu-Robinson 2 con; Kody Edwards con, Connor Paki con) Whanganui 49 (Josaia Bogileka 2, Semi Vodosese, Alekesio Vakarorogo, Tyler Rodgers-Holden, Lindsay Horrocks, Samu Kubunavanua tries; Ethan Robinson 7 con). HT: 14-35
Mid Canterbury 13 (Adam Williamson try; Nathan McCloy con, 2 pen) South Canterbury 36 (Nick Strachan, Siu Kakala, Lisiate Folau, Theo Davidson tries; Sam Briggs 2 con, 4 pen).
North Otago 26 (Mataitini Feke, Ben McCarthy, Junior Fakafoufifita, Ben McCarthy tries; McCarthy 3 con) West Coast 19 (Elliot Smith, Joseph Scott, Jacob Lowe tries; Logan Ross 2 con). HT: 19-14
Poverty Bay 29 (Tamanui Hill, , Jordan McFarlane, Hunter Mokomoko, Mo Christie tries; Kelvin Smith, 2 con, pen; Ethine Reeves con). Thames Valley 17 (Harry Lafituanai 2 tries; Zac Stephens 2 con, pen)