West Coast remain on Top !
Heartland Championship’s third round sees several try-scoring thrillers none more so than at John Sturgeon Park.
Greymouth fans who chose to go to John Sturgeon Park instead of staying home to watch the All Blacks vs Tonga, they got their money’s worth.
Trailing 31-14 at halftime, West Coast engineered a stunning comeback to beat Mid Canterbury 43-41 in a 13-try shootout.
The home side had their first converted try inside of five minutes, but Mid Canterbury dotted down three times to take a 19-7 lead out of the first quarter.
West Coast closed the gap to five points with another seven-pointer, but Mid Canterbury went over two more times before the break, their first-five Corey McKay having converted three of their five tries, to raise a 17-point buffer.
Returning from NZ Heartland XV duties, Mid Canterbury flanker Seta Koroitamana would score a double in the match, as did winger Manasa Bari, who like fullback Matt McAtamney posted tries for the second week in a row.
The visitors would get their sixth try in the second stanza, with McKay converting it plus popping over a penalty, but they were now desperately trying to hold back a red and white tide, as the West Coast came charging home.
The hosts dominated the third quarter with three tries, one converted, to tie the scores up 31-31, and although Mid Canterbury traded tries with West Coast to move back ahead 41-36, the Coasters were good for one more seven pointer.
Sweating on the conversions, the home side used three different kickers as fullback Todd Struthers, centre Sean McClure and first-five Jesse Pitman-Joass all added crucial extras.
Lock Sam Liebezeit scored two tries, having also dotted down last week, while West Coast welcomed home their NZ Heartland reps in captain Troy Tauwhare and second-five Sione Holani to grab five pointers.
Taking maximum points from a match which at one point they looked like getting nothing, West Coast kept the top spot.