When the Baywide Premier competition kicked off on March 18 all teams from the far-flung Bay of Plenty union were hoping this was going to be their year.

But after five months of intense rugby, long bus rides and endless trainings only two teams are left to challenge for the Baywide Premier 1 trophy tomorrow.

Last year's losing finalists Mount Maunganui Sports host Rotoiti Sports on Sir Gordon Tietjens Field at Blake Park from 2.45pm in a clash of contrasting styles.

Mount Maunganui have a brilliant attacking backline and mobile forwards while Rotoiti have one of the toughest forward packs in the Bay of Plenty. They will look to slow the game down and confront the Mount pack every chance they get.


As usual the performances of the first-fives may dictate the match's outcome.

Rotoiti have the under-rated Whakataki Cunningham, who is in the top three goal kickers in the competition along with Kaleb Trask (Tauranga) and Josh Robertson-Weepu (Te Puke). His kick in injury time last week to knock out defending champions Rangataua Sports shows what he is made of.

Opposite him Matt Golding has made the jersey his own in recent weeks and won the semifinal against Te Puke last week with a smartly taken try.

From the opening round to tomorrow's final both teams have been unbeaten at home but vulnerable away from their home patch.

It is one of the key factors that may decide Rotoiti's fate.

Away from Emery Park on the shores of Lake Rotoiti they lost three out of five games in the first round and two from three in the Championship round. The last time they ran out onto Blake Park they were soundly beaten 37-17.

Rotoiti coach Richard Francis says for most of his players this is the biggest game in their rugby careers.

"Our club has been there four times before and have never won it, so this playing group has the opportunity to make history for our small, humble club and community," he said.


"Discipline and defence is our key focus for us this weekend, as it has been all year. The team that makes the least mistakes will get the win."

Opposite him is the Mount's most successful coach in Rodney Voullaire, who admits his team cracked in last year's final against Rangataua at Blake Park.

"We are hoping not to do that again this weekend. We've been building up mentally to ensure that we stick to the plan," he said.

"Weather dependent, we definitely want to throw the ball around, get a lot of width on the ball and have a lot of fun with it and enjoy the moment. I want them to express themselves."

If the final is half as exciting as the semifinal between the teams at Blake Park in 2010 then spectators are in for a treat.

At fulltime the score was 24-24 and after 20 minutes of extra time the teams were still tied. After various scoring options failed to separate them the toss of a coin was the last resort to break the deadlock.

It fell Mount Maunganui's way that day and the Mounties will carry the favourites tag into tomorrow's final.

But finals footy is so unpredictable Rotoiti will fancy their chances.

It should be an epic encounter.

Baywide finals, Saturday

Premier 1 kick-off: 2.45pm
Mount Maunganui v Rotoiti at Blake Park

Premier 1 Development 1pm
Te Puna v Te Puke Sports at Maramatanga Park

Premier 2 Semifinals, 2.45pm
Paroa v Whakatane Marist at Lawson Park
Arataki v Ngongotaha at Arataki Park

Division 1 Semifinal, Kick-off: 2.45pm
Te Teko v Kahukura at Dunderdale Park
Ruatoki v Papamoa at Tuhoe Park

Women's Final
Sunday, 1pm
Waikite v Rangataua at Bellvue Road