St Johns Club Whanganui Metro and Feilding take a well-earned breather this weekend to allow the remaining four teams in the Manawatu McDonald's Colts division to battle for spots in the semi-finals.
Metro finished top of the table to claim a home semi and the Broome Shield for winning the round robin play of the Saturday competition. Metro was also awarded the Evans Cup for winning the Friday night quickfire round earlier in the season.
The only side to beat Metro this season, Feilding, finished second in the Saturday competition and will also sit out a bye this weekend.
College Old Boys play Old Boys Marist and Massey White tackle Dannevirke this weekend for semi-final berths to be played the following week.
Metro will play the winner of the Massey White/Dannevirke match, while Feilding take on the victor of the College Old Boys/Old Boys Marist clash.
The Whanganui lad are in great form this season and produced an outstanding all round performance last weekend to beat College Old Boys 34-11.
Darryl Malcolm, who co-coaches Metro alongside Carl Gibson, was moved to describe the game as one of the more complete performances he has witnessed in 15 years of coaching rugby.
Metro scored six tries and slotted two conversions to College Old Boys' one try and two penalties.
"We had some awesome performances last weekend against one of th strongest teams in the competition this year," Malcolm said.
"College Old Boys and especially Feilding are the most progressive sides in the competition. The week before our match against Dannevirke was like meeting the devil - it became an all out brawl. The scoreline was favourable for us, but the outcome unfavourable for the spirit of the game.
"But as it happened we needed that hard game as a lead in to College at the weekend.
"I think young Jaiden Edmonds played very well on the wing. He's still at school at Cullinane, so stepped up well. Coultin Wilson had an exceptional match at No7 and we need him for the physical games - he's the Cowboy Shaw of our team.
"But the likes of Tom Gibson also ran hard and strong from No 8 and halfback Chris Ferguson was awesome in his last game for us before he heads out overseas. We are also lucky to have the versatile Mairangi Tamehana at first five. He normally plays lock, but is tall and very athletic. But we are fortunate to get Stefan Hannan back at first five, he's returning from the army, so Mairangi will probably go back to lock.
"Then our impact player Eman Savage does an extremely good job at prop."
Malcolm was not overly happy perennial colts division winners Massey White get another chance at making the sharp end of the competition after a disappointing season.
With the defection of Massey Ag, the competition was reduced to just six teams allowing teams down the leaderboard a final chance at glory.
"That's just the way it is and if we have to play Massey White in the semi we'll just have to suck it up," Malcolm said.