A gutsy second-half performance ended in heartbreak for West Coast, who lost 26-17 to South Canterbury in a Heartland rugby championship match at Greymouth today. Up 17-16 with two minutes remaining, the hosts let victory slip from their grasp when South Canterbury crossed for a try through young centre Hamish Westgarth. That was converted by Jason Merrett, who then added a penalty for good measure to deny the hosts a bonus point. Goalkicking lock Merrett proved the difference between the teams in a tight tussle, kicking 16 points, including four penalties, while West Coast scored three tries but struggled with their shots at goal.
Both sides played well into a strong wind, with South Canterbury leading 13-10 at halftime after playing into it while West Coast muscled up well when facing the elements after the break.