Southland will probably have to back up last night's crucial 29-13 home win over Taranaki by taking the Ranfurly Shield off Canterbury next week if they're to make the provincial rugby semi-finals.
The win in Invercargill means Southland move up to second with one round of pool play remaining but they're likely to be overtaken by Wellington this afternoon, who host struggling North Harbour, and the Stags' remaining rivals, including Waikato, Auckland and Hawke's Bay all face an easier finals run-in.
Southland's Robbie Robinson kicked six goals from six attempts for the home side in the win over Taranaki. The home side led 16-13 at half-time and scored two tries to one.
In Friday night's other fixture, Bay of Plenty won a nailbiter 28-27 at Manawatu, who led 13-10 at half-time in Palmerston North.