A top of the table clash between Mid Northern and Wellsford failed to produce a winner, with the score at 25-all on the final shrill.

With both teams putting on acute displays of round robin footy over the past two months, the round 8 stoush between the Southern Districts Premier grade's two top sides was brutal.

A grudge match, an arm wrestle, call it what you will - the final outcome left both sides dismayed.

Mid Northern's No14, Lote Paliti, flies down the wing.
Mid Northern's No14, Lote Paliti, flies down the wing.

Wellsford coach Ross Neal said his team, playing away, felt little relief from the outcome.


"It's good to have those sorts of games, those tough ones. It felt like a draw, we had our chances to steal it but couldn't quite get there.

"They started really well [and] it took us a while to get into the game. Each team had their moments during the game but I guess a draw is a fair reflection [at the] end of the day."

With a muddy track and slippery pill, Mid Northern coach Craig Edwards said his side set out with a game plan to defy the wet conditions.

"We just treated it as a dry game, it didn't matter how wet it was," Edwards said.

"They've got pretty good forwards [so] we needed to go wide - that was our game plan, [and] it did pay off in some areas of the game."

Neal said his Wellsford outfit were looking to play a stringent, territory-based game.

"It was all about control. Looking after the ball when we had it and territory as well as sealing position - playing down in their half was a lot easier in those conditions."

With the score 15-12 to Mid Northern at halftime, Wellsford were awarded a penalty in front of the sticks early in the second stanza which levelled the score at 15-all.


Praising the effort of his backline's counter-attack, Edwards highlighted the early efforts of Lote Paliti and Wise Lawebuka.

"Our boys were outstanding throughout the first half - we knew we could get it out wide quick."

Despite this, Edwards said the expansive game in the wet penalised them in some instances.

"I don't think that was the best move against Wellsford," he said.

"It wasn't quite happening and our forwards got a bit keen on running the ball up."

Both teams continued to exchange blows into the dying minutes and the home team had a chance to seal the win off the back of a late try.