Even a brave gambler would think twice before betting against the Havelock North premiers winning a fourth consecutive Hawke's Bay Sevens title in Waipukurau this weekend.
The Murdoch Paewai-coached RDCL Havelock North premiers produced a polished rehearsal for Waipukurau by winning all six of their games including a 28-12 win against defending champions Pacific Warriors in the final of the annual Greytown Sevens in Wairarapa on Saturday.
"Six games in a day is a couple more than normal but it allowed us to give everyone plenty of game time in the hot conditions. Our superior fitness was a key factor in the win against the Warriors," Havelock North manager Conrad Waitoa said.
He was full of praise for the side's player of the day, pivot Ihaia West.
"Ihaia slotted some crucial conversions over from out wide and his ability to adjust the tempo of the game to suit various situations couldn't be faulted," Waitoa said.
West shared the captaincy duties with Adam Bradey and Levi Armstrong. With the likes of Zane Rangi, Tony Lamborn and Brendon Edmonds performing well in the forwards Bradey was given plenty of game time in the centres and he relished this role.
Trinity Spooner-Neera displayed the benefits of his recent stint with the All Black Sevens wider training group.
The Tom Blake-coached Havelock North Colts won five of their six games including a 31-17 win against Martinborough in the final. St John's College student Jayden Rihia, who had stints at hooker and winger, was Blake's player-of-the-day.
"Jayden was classy ... he reminds me of a young Shannan Chase," Blake said.
Napier Boys' High School speedster Sam McNicol scored 10 tries and Blake said he could easily have had another six. Captain Johnny Bristol, Ethan Bradey and touch whiz Ashton Robinson were others to shine in Blake's side.