Defending champions Napier Old Boys Marist will meet Clive in next Saturday's Hawke's Bay Maddison Trophy premier club rugby final at Napier's McLean Park.
Hawke's Bay Insurances Limited Napier Old Boys Marist recorded their 33rd consecutive win with a 26-22 victory against Ansin & Monteith Hastings Rugby and Sports in their Park Island-hosted semifinal today. The other semifinal, which was also a nailbiter, saw K9 Petfoods Clive pip 2013 champions Altherm Window Systems Napier Technical 21-18 at Whitmore Park to secure their first final berth since 2008.
Halfback Zac Donaldson was again in hot form for NOBM. Magpies halfback Ellery Wilson, who started at second five-eighth for the second consecutive week for NOBM, was forced from the field with an ankle injury with 25 minutes remaining.
NOBM head coach Craig Gowler said it's highly unlikely Wilson will be fit for the final. Flanker Jack Nelson-Murray left the field with a broken nose with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Centre Timo Vaiusu was outstanding for Hastings. Hurricanes lock Geoff Cridge and world champion Baby Blacks No 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu'u were full of authority in the Hastings pack.
Clive's superior composure and patience in their attacking zone gave them the edge over the Texans. Although there was a tricky wind Clive fullback Tianua Poro did well to land four of his five attempts at goal and Tech halfback landed all three of his attempts.
Clive's three big names, former Maori All Black flanker Karl Lowe, his brother and former Baby Blacks outside back Jonah Lowe and world champion Baby Blacks first five-eighth Tiaan Falcon were influential for the visitors who missed their services in their two previous games against Tech which were lost.
Captain and prop Mark Braidwood and lock Elijah Martin were inspirational in the Tech pack. Fullback Jordan Faia made the most of his opportunities and deserved his two tries.
First five-eighth Tamati Samuels was full of enterprise.
Clive 21 (A Sione, K Lowe tries; T Poto 3 pens, con), Napier Technical 18 (J Faia 2 tries; J Bristol 2 pens, con). HT: 9-3.
Napier Old Boys Marist 26 (C Benson, Z Donaldson, M Drew tries; J Lauano 3 pens, con), Hastings Rugby and Sports 22 (P Nu'u, J Rihia, M Emerson tries; T Agnew 2 cons, pen). HT: 16-12.