Napier Technical will win Saturday's Maddison Trophy Hawke's Bay premier club rugby final at Napier's McLean Park.
Well that's if a Hawke's Bay Today panel of four "experts" is any indication. Of the quartet, only Hastings Rugby and Sports co-coach Karl Jones is backing Napier Old Boys Marist.
Tom Blake and Blair Cross, who coached the losing semifinalists, Havelock North and Taradale, and yours truly are predicting a win for top qualifiers Tech Group of Companies Napier Technical.
The Whitmore Park lads had the easier semifinal beating Taradale 23-12 and should have more petrol left in the tank than Hawke's Bay Insurances Limited Napier Old Boys Marist, who had to stage a dramatic comeback to beat the villagers 21-16.
Tech last won the Bay's most prestigious club rugby title in 1992 while Napier Old Boys Marist last won it in 2002. With poor weather conditions forecast, Tech should have the better short game providing they play it with the necessary numbers at breakdown time and with the necessary patience.
However, if Tech first five-eighth Tane McGuire fails a fitness test on his ankle injury NOBM's chances of victory will increase.
Saturday's expected wet weather will give Napier Old Boys Marist the edge in their premier reserve grade final against Tamatea at Bill Mathewson Park, Hastings. Had it been fine, Tamatea's Pacific Island flair, particularly out wide, would have prevailed but NOBM will perform better in difficult conditions.
Expect NOBM's former Magpies first five-eighth Eddie Hekenui to control the game's tempo.
Another visiting outfit, Otane, should prove too strong to their hosts Aotea in the division two final at Rugby Park, Dannevirke. Otane coach Kingi Renata, experienced campaigner Kelly Graham and their troops will be fired up after losing to Aotea last weekend.
Otane appear more keen to play in the promotion-relegation game against premier woodenspooners Tamatea next week than Aotea. However if the weather is as rough as expected this will be a close encounter.
Maraenui will start as the biggest favourites of the weekend when they host Western Suburbs One in the division three final. Maraenui have lost two games in three years and are eager to win back the title they lost to Taradale last year.
Expect another dominant display from Maraenui crowd favourite, halfback Boss Forster. A younger brother of former All Black Stu Forster, he knows all about finals footy and is always composed when the pressure is on.
A cracker colts final is expected when Onga Tiko hosts neighbours Central at Matthews Park. .