The St Johns Club Whanganui Metro Colts suffered their first loss of the season going down narrowly on home turf to Feilding at Cooks Gardens on Saturday.
The 25-22 victory leaves Feilding the only unbeaten side in the Manawatu McDonalds Colts division Saturday competition and places them top of the table with 19 points to Metro's 12 in second place.
However, Feilding has played four games to Metro's three and with Massey Ag pulling pin on the competition, the Metro lads sit out this weekend's play, but receive the full five points for the default. Feilding have a bye this weekend.
Metro did get the better of Feilding in the quickfire Friday night competition.
Carl Gibson, who co-coaches Metro alongside Darryl Malcolm, said Saturday's match against Feilding came down to a last minute penalty to the visitors.
"The match could quite easily have gone either way," Gibson said.
"We expected Feilding to be strong and they have to be favourites to take the title. We miss our third home game through Massey Ag defaulting this coming weekend, so our next two games before the semis are away games against Dannevirke in Dannevirke and College Old Boys in Palmerston North."
On paper at least Metro will be favoured to win both and secure a home semi-final.
"I'd like to think we could win both upcoming games, but they will be tough encounters," Gibson said.
Metro scored four tries on Saturday with centre Riley Culver fittingly dotting down twice. Culver has been with Metro from day one when the team was established three years back. Prop Laurence Weber and No8 Tom Gibson scored a try apiece, while second-five Desmond Tyrell slotted a conversion.
"It was a very close match and with a little bit of luck we could have taken it, but you make your own luck, don't you?
"Our forwards battled away very well, our defence was outstanding and it was great to see our backline running hard. Both Riley's tries came from good backline moves."
If upcoming matches go as expected, Metro's clash with College Old Boys in a fortnight will decide whether there is a home semi at home in Whanganui.
Perennial colts division winners Massey White have struggled this season and sit in fifth position with 8 points.
Manawatu community rugby co-ordinator Ben Koch said many of Massey's A grade players had been selected for the New Zealand Universities' team, forcing the top team to poach senior grade players and the senior grade relying on the colts to fill the void at that level.