Mark Braidwood reckoned he had booked today off work with his two-try performance for Napier Technical in Saturday's Maddison Trophy Hawke's Bay premier club rugby final at Napier's McLean Park.
"Make that two weeks ... one for each try," yelled a teammate after Tech received Hawke's Bay's most prestigious club rugby trophy for the first time since 1992 with a 17-8 win against Hawke's Bay Insurances Limited Napier Old Boys Marist.
"I don't know if it's true but if it is I'll take it ... our boss has been pretty good to us and has been our major sponsor for the past four years," prop Braidwood said referring to Richie Rich of Tech Group of Companies.
"I'm stoked because the boys did so well. We've been building for this for three years and from a personal point of view I couldn't have asked for more in my first season in the frontrow after switching from my flanker role. It's been absolutely brilliant ... and initially I didn't think the positional switch would work," Braidwood explained.
Braidwood, 26, had his first season with Tech in 2007 after arriving in New Zealand from the Colchester club in Britain. Apart from stints in Spain and the United Kingdom "Cracker" (Braidwood's nickname) has been with Tech ever since and will be back for another season next year.
"Mum and Dad were out here for a couple of weeks at the start of the season before returning to Britain. I'm looking forward to ringing them with the good news tomorrow," Braidwood added.
His first try in the 29th minute which New Zealand under-20s halfback Sheridan Rangihuna converted to give Tech a 10-3 lead came after numerous phases of sustained pressure from the Tech forwards. They were playing to their stength and producing 20 metre rolling mauls with ease in the second quarter after playing too loose and as individuals in the first quarter.
Earlier in the game Rangihuna kicked a 14th minute penalty and Napier Old Boys Marist replied with a 20th minute equaliser from first five-eighth Liam Rukuwai. NOBM captain and former Otago and Magpies midfield back Sam Giddens closed the gap with a 36th minute try following a clever burst from experienced winger Migao Lauano.
With 18 minutes remaining Braidwood scored his second try after more pressure from the Tech forwards. Rangihuna converted from wide out to end the scoring in the tight affair.
The victory was an appropriate farewell for Tech head coach, former Chiefs and Magpies prop David Briggs.
"I wanted to go out on top. With two two Nash Cup wins, a Maddison Trophy winner's medal and the Black and White Shield for the top club there's no better way," Briggs said.
"I played more than 250 games for the old Napier High School Old Boys club and never got one of these Maddison Trophy winner's medals ... it's a great feeling," said Briggs assistant Steve Woods who intends to step up to the head coach role next year.
NOBM head coach Mike Warren agreed his troops didn't deserve to win because of the high number of handling errors they made. However he believed referee Marty Hantz' forward pass ruling in the 60th minute when fullback Spencer Isopo was about to score under the posts was the turning point in the game.
Hantz was up with the play when he made the call and again produced a polished display.
Along with Braidwood, lock Darren Deeley, captain Hugh Reed and fellow flanker Angus Benson led the Tech pack by example.
Rangihuna impressed with his option taking as well as his goal kicking (three from four attempts).
Giddens and Lauano made the most of their limited opportunities on attack. As in the previous week's semifinal win against Havelock North flankers Sean Watts and Pouvi Fatialofa and huge defensive workrates for NOBM.