Mid Canterbury went down to Horowhenua-Kapiti in their first round match of the Heartland competition at the Ashburton Showgrounds on Saturday.
The visiting side held an advantage all match that the Hammers just couldn’t quite pull back, and the final score was 17-10 in Horowhenua-Kapiti’s favour.
The visitors had a comfortable 17-5 lead at half-time, and despite play going from one end of the field to another, it was only with less than 20 to go that the Hammers added to their tally with a try wide out to Josh McAtamney.
The tempo of the game went up a notch as the visitors tried to close it out, while Mid Canterbury was desperate to close the gap, and the home side had their chances, Lima Savainea being denied a couple of times down the grandstand side of the oval.
Horowhenua-Kapiti poured on the pressure in the last ten minutes, but with a couple to go Mid Canterbury charged back up the field, going at least ten phases to get right up to the line, but a knock-on spoiled their attack, and Horowhenua held out for the 17-10 victory.
In other results Wairarapa Bush caused an upset, knocking over Wanganui 28-18 in Masterton.
Buller smashed East Coats 54-19 at Westport, South Canterbury lost 20-26 at home to North Otago, West Coast was way too good for King Country, winning 56-27.