Tight at the top in Taranaki

The semifinal make-up in Taranaki premier rugby is still far from decided after today's matches kept the points table congested.

Just five points separates second placed Inglewood from sixth-placed Clifton with two rounds of matches to play before the semifinals.

The only certainty is leaders New Plymouth Old Boys look odds-on to fill one of the spots, with the side only needing a bonus point from their next two matches to qualify.

Inglewood centre Avon Lewis was the toast of his side after he snuck in under the posts with time up to give his side a 17-14 win over Tukapa at Sanders Park.

Lewis put in a man of the match performance, especially in the second half when he made a number of telling line breaks.

Tukapa would have been confident of winning the match at halftime after they turned with a strong wind at their backs and only down 10-7.

They made too many mistakes, however, and will lament a lack of patience and some of their option taking and accuracy.

Clifton got the win they needed to keep themselves in the play-off race by beating Southern 28-6 in Hawera.

Although they only managed three tries, they will be happy to leave with the win knowing they are only two points out of the top four.

Old Boys had to work harder than many expected in beating Stratford 32-11 at Vogeltown Park.

They were only ahead 15-8 at halftime but played better in the second half to get the five points they needed to keep a four-point gap at the top of the table.


Inglewood 17 Tukapa 14

NPOB 32 Stratford 11

Coastal 32 Spotswood Utd 12

Clifton 28 Southern 6

Taranaki Daily News