Games were delayed due to New Zealand’s Covid lockdown but kicked off three weeks late.
Defending Meads Cup winners North Otago started with a 39-31 win over East Coast in Oamaru while neighbours and defending Lochore Cup champions South Canterbury had an emphatic 48-13 win over Buller in Westport. Horowhenua-Kapiti made a winning start with debutant lock Dan Smith shining in their 28-21 victory over West Coast at John Sturgeon Park.
Results, September 18
Mid Canterbury 53
bt King Country 25 Mid Canterbury (Scorers not available)
Horowhenua-Kapiti 28 (D Smith 2, H Henare, R Shelford tries; J Tatu-Robertson 4 con)
bt West Coast 21 (E Smith, S Soper tries, penalty try; J Scott 2 con)
South Canterbury 48 (S Buliruarua 2, S Kakala 2, A Amato, L Simote, Z McKay tries; S Briggs pen, 5 con)
bt Buller 13 (Scorers not available)
North Otago 39
bt East Coast 31. (Scorers not available)
HT: 24-17 East Coast.
Thames Valley 42 (J Kaho 2, T Hemopo, T Doolan, S Vakapuna Etoni, L Masirewa tries; Doolan 2 pen, 3 con)
bt Wairarapa Bush 10 (M Falaniko try; T Haira pen, con)
Whanganui 65 (J Bokileka, C Hart 2, L Horrocks, V Tofa, A Vakarorogo, P Malanicagi, K Kuruyabaki 2 tries; D Whale 5 con, 2 pen; C Clare 2 con)
Poverty Bay 12 (T Hill, Another tries; K Smith con).