For the Magpies, it was a whole new ball game polishing up their DIY skills making barbecue tables at EIT.
Organised by the Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union, the professional development exercise was aimed at widening the players' skills set in areas other than rugby.
The contracted players were formed into four teams, each comprising five to seven players and a 'tutor' from one of four sponsoring building companies.
The teams were given three hours to build two barbecue tables - one for adults and another for children.
Working in EIT's Trades Skills workshop, the Magpies were guided and supervised by EIT carpentry tutor Wayne Chaffey.
The teams, working to the clock and judged on the quality of their build, took the challenge seriously.
Nursing a dislocated shoulder, lock Junior Waqa still managed a saw to trim a length of four by two.
"I do it by tactics," he explained.
As a qualified builder, loose forward Tony Lamborn was off to a good start. And brother Sam, from Dun Deal Building, was also on hand to offer advice.
Prop Mason Kean said he'd done a bit of carpentry when he attended Hastings Boys' High School. "Once you have a bit of a rhythm going it's all right," he said.
"They seem to know what they are doing," agreed foreman Nick McCann from Gemco Construction.
The other sponsor building companies were Atkins Construction, Design Builders and Dun Deal Building.
At the end of the day, the boys nailed the job. Wayne said the Magpies went really well at carpentry - "I enjoyed working with the guys."
HBRFU professional development manager Chris Pollock said the tables would be donated to worthy causes.