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North Otago came storming back into Bunnings Heartland Meads Cup playoffs contention with a 89-23 thumping of Horowhenua Kapiti in Oamaru on Saturday.

Scoring 13 tries, they achieved their second highest score in first-class rugby (behind their 116-3 win over Ngati Porou East Coast in 2010) and their highest score on their home ground.

The win lifted them to fourth place in the championship.

South Canterbury remained three points clear of the field with a 73-19 win over Wairarapa Bush in Masterton while Whanganui is second on 21 points after beating Poverty Bay 32-24 in Gisborne.

Thames Valley travelled to Westport to beat Buller 52-12 to remain third with 20 points. East Coast are 6th on Tiebreaker with Mid Canterbury who is seventh both on 14 points.

Ngati Porou East Coast successfully defended the Bill Osborne Taonga when beating West Coast 29-27.

Bunnings Heartland Week Five:
North Otago 89 (Inoke Naufahu 2, Kelepi Funaki, Setarika Koroitamana, Ratu Logavatu, Ben McCarthy, Paea Fifita, Levi Emery, Matthew Vocea, Mataitini Feke 2, Mone Samate, Junior Fakatoufifita  tries; McCarthy 12 con)
Horowhenua Kapiti 23 (Trevor Owens, Jack Tatu-Robinson tries, Tatu-Robinson 2 con, 3 pen). HT: 33-16

Buller 12 (Jack Parker, Miteli Kaludigibeci tries; Parker con)
Thames Valley 52 (Will Newbold, Laulea Mau Fangufangu, Cam Dromgool, Leroy Neels, Ben Stephens 2, Connor McVerry, Tui Toai-key tries; Todd Doolans 5 con; Zac Stephens con). HT: 0-33

Ngati Porou East Coast 29 (Scoring details not available)
West Coast 27 (Sean McClure, Nathan Evans, Jasyn van Vliet tries; Ben Wyeness con, pen; Logan Ross con). HT: 17-20

Mid Canterbury 22 (Isireli Masiwini, Manasa Samo, Tyler Blackburn tries; Tom Reekie con, pen; Nathan McCloy con)
King Country 34 (Ethan Christensen, Connor Dobbyn, Reeve Satherley tries; Quinn Collard 2 con, 5 pen). HT: 8-21

Poverty Bay 24 (Te Peehi Fairlie, Keanu Taumata, Mitchell Purvis, Shayde Skudder tries; Kelvin Smith 2 con)
Whanganui 32 (Timosi Serewalu, Kameli Kuruyabaki, Semi Vodosese, Ethan Robinson tries; Robinson 3 con, 2 pen). HT: 10-14

Wairarapa Bush 19 (Jared Hawkins, Aidan Champion, Sam Walton-Sexton tries; Tipene Haira con; Aidan Champion con)
South Canterbury 73 (Ramuwai Sainivalati, Siu Kakala 2, Garrett Casey, Anthony Amato, Griason Dale, Liueli Simote 2, Sam Briggs, Conor Anderson, Dan Patterson tries; Briggs 9 con). HT: 7-45

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