University and Upper Hutt kept their playoff hopes alive with narrow victories, while Porirua regained the competition lead with a tense victory over Randwick.
Two tries from Micky O'Brien helped University to a 12-10 win over Petone at Kelburn Park.
The scores were locked 6-6 at halftime before O'Brien crossed to give Cam Collings an easy goal and set up an exciting final 10 minutes. With Petone's season riding on a victory they threw everything at the Hunters and were rewarded when winger Pene Turia crossed in the final minute. But the attempt at goal missed, which saw University into fifth spot.
Upper Hutt beat Te Aroha 20-18 thanks to two crucial goals to Conrad Simon.
Each side scored four tries and after the scores were locked 10-10 at the break.
Rawiri Dawson picked up a double, as did Te Aroha's Chas McGregor, but two goals to one proved the difference as fourth-placed Te Aroha slipped to their third straight defeat.
In the top-of-the-table match, Randwick made a flying start to be 18-0 up before Porirua stormed back to claim a 22-18 victory.
Three converted tries in the first 12 minutes had Randwick in charge with the wind, before tries to Jay Bolstad and Vena Lamsam saw the Kingfishers leading 18-10 at halftime.
Porirua made good use of the wind in the second spell, and Bolstad's second try in the 74th minute clinched it.
Third-placed Wainuiomata scored five tries to dispatch bottom-placed St George 28-4.
- The Dominion Post
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