Buller will host next Saturday's final of the Lochore Cup rugby competition after they upset Horowhenua Kapiti 19-14 in their semifinal at Levin on Saturday.
Buller, third seeds in the playoffs, got unexpected hosting rights for the final after fourth-placed Wairarapa Bush stunned top qualifiers King Country 21-17 at Te Kuiti in today's other semifinal.
Magnificent defence and ball retention paved the way for Buller's victory.
They led 14-9 at halftime from three Andrew Stephens penalties and an unconverted try by Penijamini Nabainivalu as Horowhenua Kapiti, playing into the wind, kicked away hard-fought possession in the first half.
Josh Hamilton got their first half points from two penalties and a dropped goal.
Buller's second try was scored by Sam Marris which was preceded by what appeared to be a forward pass that was missed by the match officials.
Antony Fox crossed to dot down an unconverted try for Horowhenua Kapiti.
In the Meads Cup, North Otago booked a home rugby final against Wanganui by beating Mid Canterbury 40-24 in the semifinals in Oamaru.
It was a torrid encounter, with a big brawl inside the first few minutes leading to a yellow card to Mid Canterbury hooker James Carr, and there was plenty of niggle throughout the match.
North Otago always looked as though they would win but almost made a meal of it with some sloppy passing, mistakes born of fatigue near the end, and a yellow card to replacement winger Ekeroma Sefo in the dying minutes.
Mid Canterbury put up a strong fight, showing tenacious defence, some clever attacking moves and an ability to get under North Otago's skin.
After North Otago first five-eighth Ben Patston missed two early penalties, Mid Canterbury opened the scoring in the 12th minute when wing Chris Crichton ran the length of the field for a try, which David Maw converted.
Patston replied a couple of minutes later with a penalty then North Otago scored again at the 20-minute mark when slick running took wing Lemi Masoe over the line.
Patston landed another penalty to make 11-7 after 30 minutes but Mid Canterbury hit the lead with Crichton's second try just one minute into the second half, which first five-eighth Maw converted to make it 14-11 to the visitors.
Patston responded with his third penalty to level the scores but Maw put his team back in front with a penalty of his own.
Faaitu Tuamoheloa scored North Otago's second try after 14 minutes and then a converted try to Masoe put them out to a 26-17 lead which they built on via another try to second five-eighth and captain Luke Herden.
Mid Canterbury refused to fold, hitting back with a chip-and-chase try to Maw which he converted to keep his side in the contest.
Herden immediately settled the issue with his second try to seal the win.
source: newshub archive