Mid Northern forced their way back into the top four as rain curtailed any chances of high-scoring affairs in the latest round of Bayleys Northland club rugby action.

Mid Northern battled past a spirited Hikurangi, grabbing a bonus point 32-17 victory to sneak past Waipu and Kerikeri on the leaderboard.

Wet weather spoiled the flow in a hard-fought first half at Hikurangi but the boot of centre Caleb Houltham gave the home side early momentum.

However, a pair of tries from Mid Northern quickly turned the tables as their ability to keep the slippery ball in hand meant they could build and sustain plenty of pressure.


The likes of second five Swayn Rakete and hooker Jordan Olsen stood out for the visitors as they looked for their second win of the season.

However, poor Mid Northern discipline inside their own half kept Hikurangi close as Houltham continued to slot simple penalty opportunities.

A yellow card to Hikurangi prop Devron Phillips didn't help the home side as Mid Northern sensed a chance to extend their lead.

A third try shortly before the halftime break gave them a favourable 17-9 lead but a late raid but more ill-discipline from Mid Northern helped them reduce the gap to five again through the boot of Houltham.

Mid Northern stamped their authority early in the second spell as an early converted try and penalty goal put space between them and Hikurangi.

Hikurangi found ball retention came far easier than in the first 40 minutes as the rain alleviated, even picking up a try to keep within range.

However, Mid Northern were enjoying a return to form after last week's disappointing defeat at the hands of Kerikeri and were not about to let Hikurangi back into the game.

As well as scoring a pair of tries on the attacking end they snuffed out every raid Hikurangi sent their way.


Mid Northern eventually secured the victory, though Hikurangi didn't make it easy for them.

That win moved them ahead of Kerikeri and Waipu on the ladder after both suffered contrasting losses.

Kerikeri went close against the Western Sharks, who were part of Dargaville Rugby and Sports Club's 125th anniversary celebrations, eventually going down 27-22.

Western Sharks haven't been too far away from securing their first win of the season with a few strong performances but this week everything clicked and they got over the hump.

Waipu, meanwhile, were the latest side to succumb to the unbeaten Kamo, falling 27-5.

Travelling to face Kamo at home was never going to be an easy task for Waipu and while committed, they were not as clinical as their hosts.


In the other two games Hora Hora and Old Boys Marist maintained their spots in the top four with respective victories over Otamatea and Wellsford.

Bayleys Northland Club Rugby results
Hikurangi 17-32 Mid Northern
Kamo 27-5 Waipu
Otamatea 24-39 Hora Hora
Wellsford 22-24 Old Boys Marist
Western Sharks 27-22 Kerikeri

Premier Reserve:
Hikurangi 12-15 Mid Northern
Kamo 29-14 Waipu
Otamatea 25-27 Hora Hora
Wellsford 7-20 Old Boys Marist
Western Sharks 29-26 Kerikeri

South Zone:
Kaihu Valley 17-19 Mid Western
Southern 60-10 Magakahia
Tomarata beat Dargaville Old Boys by default