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Heartland Championship Preview: Round Seven

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Friday, October 6, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

They will be hosting Wanganui, the side who have dominated the competition in recent years but who suffered a setback in rounds four and five when beaten. They returned to the winner's circle in week six with a thumping 80-3 win over King Country.

Sitting in second place on 24 points, two behind South Canterbury, Horowhenua Kapiti, are three points clear of Wanganui who are in fourth place.

Competition leader South Canterbury are at home to second-last side Wairarapa Bush on Saturday.

Third-placed Buller, who have 22 points, also face a tough game to hold their place as they are travelling to Ashburton to meet Mid Canterbury and who are only two points behind them in fifth place.

North Otago will be looking to boost their play-off hopes for the Meads Cup when hosting bottom side East Coast in Oamaru.

Better seasons for Thames Valley and West Coast see them as leading contenders for the Lochore Cup play-offs, and they play each other in Greymouth.

The weekend should also see the first players pass 100 points for the season. Heading the list is Buller's James Lash, who has scored 93 points. Wanganui's Craig Clare has 89 points and Mid Canterbury's Jarrad Percival has 80.

Heading the individual try scoring list are: Timoci Seruwalu (Wanganui) 8, Maleli Sau (Mid Canterbury) 7, Kalavini Leatigaga (South Canterbury) 7.

Games are:

North Otago v East Coast, Oamaru, 2pm
Played: 29
Wins: North Otago 20, East Coast 8, Draws 2
Last time: North Otago 48 East Coast 8, Ruatoria 2016

Mid Canterbury v Buller, Ashburton, 2.30pm
Played: 38
Wins: Mid Canterbury 31, Buller 7
Last time: Mid Canterbury 32 Buller 34, Westport 2016

Poverty Bay v King Country, Gisborne, 2.30pm
Played: 44
Wins: Poverty Bay 18, King Country 26
Last time: Poverty Bay 26 King Country 48, Taupo (Lochore Cup semi-final) 2016

South Canterbury v Wairarapa Bush, Timaru, 2.30pm
Played: 25
Wins: South Canterbury 14, Wairarapa Bush 9, Draws 2
Last time: South Canterbury 25 Wairarapa Bush 21, Timaru (Meads Cup semi-final) 2015

West Coast v Thames Valley, Greymouth, 2.30pm
Played: 17
Wins: West Coast 5, Thames Valley 11, Draws 1
Last time: West Coast 17 Thames Valley 29, Paeroa, 2015

Horowhenua Kapiti v Wanganui, Levin, 2.30pm
Played: 75
Wins: Horowhenua Kapiti 12, Wanganui 20, Draws 1
Last time: Horowhenua Kapiti 12, Wanganui 20, Wanganui, 2016