Old Boys and Coastal guarantee place in semis
New Plymouth Old Boys and Coastal have guaranteed themselves semifinal spots in Taranaki premier rugby, leaving four teams chasing the final two positions with one round left to play.
Old Boys guaranteed themselves a home semifinal after they beat arch rivals Tukapa 22-14 at Vogeltown Park, while Southern's upset 19-18 win over Inglewood on Friday night means Coastal only need a point next week against Clifton to book a home play-off.
Although Tukapa lost, they still have a chance to make it into the top four if they can beat Spotswood United next week and Clifton lose to Coastal.
Conversely, Spotswood United can still make it if they beat Tukapa and Clifton lost to Coastal.
Inglewood could also miss out if Clifton and Spotswood United both win and they fail to get a bonus point against Old Boys.
It was a tense match at Yarrow Stadium where Clifton edged past Spotswood United 21-17.
The match hung in the balance to the very end when Spotswood United wing Dion Beer was pushed out in the corner going for the winning try.
There was little between the sides, which was evidenced by the scoreline as the lead changed several times.
Clifton scored two tries to one, with Zane Neill and Matiu Welch crossing, while Josh Hamilton scored all of Spotswood United's points through a try and four penalties.
Coastal had to battle hard to get past Stratford 34-8 at Opunake. Although Stratford have yet to win a match this season, they refused to surrender meekly to Coastal, who had to defend for long periods of the match.
AT A GLANCE
Southern 19 Inglewood 18
Clifton 21 Spotswood Utd 17
NPOB 22 Tukapa 14
Coastal 34 Stratford 8
Taranaki Daily News