Buller secured a Lochore Cup Heartland rugby semifinal spot with a hard fought 20-11 victory over arch rivals West Coast at Buller. Buller dominated the first half and should have had more to show for their territorial dominance but mistakes at vital times kept the score down to one try by winger Joseph Bradley after he combined with No 8 Phil Rossiter.
West Coast came back in the second half and took the lead 11-10 at one stage thanks to a try by Andrew Connors when Buller spilled possession, but tries by Sam Marris and Brad McKenzie took Buller out to an unassailable lead. Tempers became more than a little frayed during the latter stages but Buller held their nerve and hung on for a narrow but well deserved victory.
Outstanding for Buller were Rossiter and Matthew Bonisch, who was sound on defence and counter attacked well from fullback. For West Coast, Brad Houston was the best forward, while Sam Hannan was the most penetrative of the backs.