Thames Valley finish top qualifiers in Heartland

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That ensured the defending Meads Cup champions home advantage in next week's semifinals. Only three points separated the top four teams who will contest the trophy

They will face a tough game against Wanganui who bounced back from a poor start to the competition to claim fourth place after a 38-15 win over neighbours Horowhenua Kapiti on Saturday.

North Otago, who finished second equal on 29 points with Wairarapa Bush, will host the other semifinal as a result of their beating the northerners in regular season play.

North Otago won the Lochore Cup last season.

West Coast finished highest in the qualifiers for the Lochore Cup and will host Poverty Bay in their semifinal next weekend. West Coast beat South Canterbury 27-24 in a close contest on Saturday.

Poverty Bay went down 26-36 to Buller.

Buller will host the other semifinal against South Canterbury.

Mitre 10 Heartland Championship Week 8 results:

Mid Canterbury 10 (Matt Groom try; Corey McKay con, pen) Wairarapa Bush 31 (Bruce Kauika Petersen 2, Raneira Petersen, Logan Hebenton-Prendeville, Brock Price tries; Tim Priest 3 con). HT: 3-14

South Canterbury 24 (Siu Kakala, Miles Medlicott, Zac Saunders, Clarence Moli tries; Willie Wright 2 con) West Coast 27 (Jarrod Ferguson, Sean McClure, Steve Soper, Jade Coleman, Logan Winter tries; McClure con). HT: 17-5

Buller 36 (Jack Best, Anthony Ellis, Louis Devery, Iliesa Ravudra, Mitieli Kaloudigibeci tries; James Lash 3 con, pen; Andrew Stephens con) Poverty Bay 26 (Beaudein Waaka 2, Tane McGuire, Tamanui Hill tries; Waaka 3 con). HT:

East Coast 29 (Tawhao Stewart, Hakarangi Tichborne, Epeli Lotawa, Adaam Ross, Hoana Te Moana tries; Sam Parks 2 con) North Otago 61 (Sam Sturgess 2, Jacob Coughlan 2, Ralph Darling 2, Jake Greenslade, Kelepi Funaki, Robbie Smith tries; Smith 7 con; Anthony Arty con). HT: 10-35

Horowhenua Kapiti 15 (Willie Paia'aua, Cody Hemi tries; Himiona Henare con, pen) Wanganui 38 (Kamipeli Latu, Amos Pogia, Vereniki Tikoisolomone 3, Raymond Salu tries; Nick Harding 3 con; Dane Whale con). HT: 8-14

King Country 15 (Alex Thrupp, Liam Rowlands tries; Zayne Tipping con; Evaan Reihana pen) Thames Valley 37 (Harry Lafituanai 3, Regan Crosland tries; Reece Broughton 4 con, 3 pen). HT: 3-30

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