The premiers used their season's 'get out of jail' card when they battled to a scrappy 20-17 win over Tawa on 2 June (see video highlights below).
On a cold Lyndhurst Park, MSP got their noses in front with a penalty with two minutes to go, only to see the Tawa goal kicker miss a fulltime penalty attempt that would have given the home team a draw.
Tawa dominated early to lead 7-0, and yellow cards were issued to No 8 Tevita Ah Wong and a Tawa player 10 minutes into the game. With the ref whistling a steady tune, MSP fullback Andrew Wells nailed four consecutive penalties to put his team in front 12-7.
Wells was also responsible for one of the few bright plays in the first forty when he sliced through off a wide Fa'atonu Fili pass, but it was Tawa who finished the half more strongly, a converted try in the corner giving them a 14-12 lead at the break.
MSP turned into the chilly northerly and went straight onto attack, but Tawa scored first with a penalty to stretch their lead to 17-12. With another Tawa player in the bin, MSP set up camp on the Tawa tryline in the clubrooms corner. After lineout drives from four consecutive penalties, prop Arden David finally found the tryline in the 28th minute of the second half. Wells converted to level the scores and his match-winning penalty 10 minutes later was his sixth success from seven shots.
Neither side covered themselves in glory in a game marred by a numerous high shots and off-the-ball play. Tawa were aggressive and committed but MSP nevertheless ground out the win with an average performance.