A 10-all draw with Auckland is an early sign of how far the Bay of Plenty Volcanix have come this season.
While it was not a win, Saturday's draw was reason to celebrate as it came against an Auckland side who finished runners-up last season and had beaten Bay of Plenty 62-0 and 110-0 in their last two meetings.
In miserably wet conditions the Volcanix were on the back foot early losing lock Kate Henwood, halfback Polly Playle and replacement halfback Brigid Cameron to injury within the first 10 minutes.
However, their replacements stepped up and the whole side showed great commitment in defence, holding Auckland scoreless for 25 minutes, before Auckland captain Karina Stowers crossed the line to score first.
As the rain continued Bay of Plenty levelled the score through loosehead prop Luka Connor, who carried on her excellent try-scoring form for Waikite this season. Following a collective effort from the forwards, Connor burrowed over the line to go into the break at 5-all.
In the second half the Volcanix again applied pressure on a sizeable Auckland forward pack. Despite being reduced to 14 players with flanker Lily Florence receiving a yellow card, they continued to deny the Aucklanders.
However, persistent attack from the visitors saw them in for their second try to take a 10-5 lead.
The Bay of Plenty side were full of belief, however, having got on the scoreboard against Auckland for the first time in three years.
With five minutes to play, after a period of sustained pressure, Volcanix hooker Ereti Williams pounced on a loose ball to tie the game up 10-all - the Volcanix' best ever result against Auckland.
Bay of Plenty captain Kaci James said her side was ecstatic to have made history against Auckland.
"We did everything we'd been doing at training and learning intensively, we did that on the field. Everybody was hungry for it.
"I was very proud. There are four or five of us that were part of the team that lost those other games and we were jumping around like we'd just won the world cup. It felt like a win," James said.
The Volcanix will play Hawke's Bay in the second round of the Farah Palmer Cup in Napier on Saturday.
Bay of Plenty 10 (Luka Connor, Ereti Williams tries)
Auckland 10 (Karina Stowers, Leanne Thompson tries). HT: 5-5.