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Luisetti Seeds Division 1 Round Up - Week 9
By Jonathan Leask (Northern Outlook/Central Canterbury News)
Photos - Jonathan Leask (Glenmark v Saracens) and Gill Happer (Southbridge v Methven)
The business end of the Luisetti Seeds Division 1 Combined Country Cup came early with play-off places still on the line in round nine.
Both sections had top-four contenders square off to determine the final makeup of the quarter-finals on Saturday.
In section one it was Glenmark beating Saracens 27-6 in Cheviot that decided the top four.
Glenmark scored four tries to earn a crucial bonus point that had them finish equal with Lincoln on 34 points but claimed second for a home quarter-final by virtue of a better points differential.
Lincoln beat Burnham-Dunsandel-Irwell 26-10 but were unable to score the four tries that would have had them host a quarter-final, rather than face a trip to Rakaia.
However, the red-and-blacks will be undaunted having twice gone to Rakaia in the playoffs and came away the victors.
Southbridge banked an eighth bonus point win in beating Methven 54-5 to finish top, and will host Ashley.
Elia Ratucove and Mateo Raturawa both scored doubles as Southbridge ran in eight tries to finish the round robin undefeated, and will go into the playoffs as the favourites.
As for the defending champions, Methven finished without a win and will contest the plaque section.
Kaiapoi scored a try in the corner to Max Tiweka, his second of the day, at the death for a 24-22 win over Hampstead. West Melton claimed their second win beating Rolleston 12-5.
Waihora cemented top spot in section two,with a 42-17 bonus point win over Ohoka and will host BDI.
Waihora enters the playoffs with home-field advantage for the third straight season as they look to shake off the bridesmaid tag after losing to Lincoln and Methven in the past two finals.
Two tries to halfback Corey Sinclair helped Rakaia to a bonus-point win over Ashley 24-15 to take second spot and face familiar finals foe of Lincoln.
Ashley slipped down to fourth and face the tough trip to Southbridge who have averaged 44 points per game.
Celtic and Darfield were both in the running for a top-four spot, and Celtic seized the advantage with a 21-0 win at home to jump from fifth to third, swapping places with Darfield.
Oxford outclassed Hornby 35-10 and Southern put 24 unanswered points on Prebbleton.
Southbridge 54 v Methven 5, Kaiapoi 24 v Hampstead 22, West Melton 12 v Rolleston 5, Lincoln 26 v BDI 10, Glenmark 27 v Saracens 6.
Waihora 42 v Ohoka 17, Celtic 21 v Darfield 0, Rakaia 24 v Ashley 15, Prebbleton 0 v Southern 24, Oxford 35 v Hornby 10.
Combined Country Cup Quarterfinals: Southbridge v Ashley, Rakaia v Lincoln, Waihora v BDI, Glenmark v Celtic
Trophy: Darfield v Kaiapoi, Saracens v Oxford.
Plate: Southern v West Melton, Ohoka v Hampstead.
Plaque: Methven v Prebbleton, Rolleston v Hornby.
West Melton 9
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