Steelform Wanganui will travel back to Levin for another chance to redeem a loss in the 2017 Mitre 10 Heartland Championship after second placed Horowhenua Kapiti snuck by Buller 18-17 on Saturday.
While slight favourites after winning in Westport the week before, Horowhenua Kapiti could not discount Buller's heart and the James Lash factor, as they went out to a 9-3 lead through the boot of their own goal kicking James - Mr So'oialo.
Buller would come back with two tries to take the lead 17-15 with time running out, with Lash's goal kicks breaking his own national record to reach 147 points this Heartland season.
But So'oialo, as he did in the win over Wanganui, was unerring with his sixth straight penalty to put his team into their first ever Meads Cup final.
The news was well received in Timaru as Wanganui, who will be reinforced with the return of key players like Craig Clare and Viki Tofa, would much rather have a short trip down the road to face their neighbours than the long hike to Westport for a rematch of last year's thrilling Meads Cup final.
In the Lochore Cup semifinals, the two teams who tied with Wanganui on the watertight points table were able to do the business.
As expected, Mid Canterbury had no trouble with Poverty Bay in Ashburton, hammering them 56-22.
Willie McGoon scored a hat trick, while Maleli Sau got a double to have the Heartland tryscorers record firmly in his sights with 12 for the season.
Sam Finau also scored twice while Jarred Percival contributed 16 points with the boot.
Lucky to have made the Top 8 with an upset win over Thames Valley, Poverty Bay's best was the double by Ben Lam.
In Greymouth, West Coast picked up an important win for their union as they go back to their first Lochore Cup final since 2009, with the hope of finally winning a national championship.
The 24-14 win over a dispirited North Otago - the defending Lochore Cup champions who barely lost their Meads Cup spot to Wanganui - came from scoring four tries to two.
Team stalwarts Josh Manning, Regan Stanton and Troy Tauwhare all crossed, as the home side maintained their 10 point lead from halftime.
It also means of the four former All Blacks to play Heartland rugby this season, two of them are still in the running to win a trophy as Regan King (Mid Canterbury) will face off against Corey Flynn (West Coast) in the Lochore final in Ashburton.
Wanganui 29 (Simon Dibben, Bryn Hudson tries; Nick Harding 5 pen, 2 con) bt South Canterbury 24 (Willie Wright, Kevin Moore, Marac Beckham tries; Wright pen, 3 con). HT: 20-10.
Horowhenua Kapiti 18 (James So'oialo 6 pen) bt Buller 17 (Anthony Tailua, Hogarth tries; James Lash pen, 2 con). HT: 9-3.
Mid Canterbury 56 (Willie McGoon 3, Sam Finau 2, Maleli Sau 2, Tyler Blackburn tries; Jarred Percival 2 pen, 5 con) bt Poverty Bay 22 (Ben Lam 2, Semisi Alana tries; Ethine Reeves 2 con, pen).
West Coast 24 (Josh Manning, Regan Stanton, Troy Tauwhare, Isei Lewaqai tries; Tom Reekie 2 con) bt North Otago 14 (Petelo Pouhila, Mika Mafi tries; Dan Lewis 2 con). HT: 17-7.