Te Puna would happily take a win over Tauranga Sports at Tauranga Domain by just one point.
So to score five tries to two in an emphatic 40-12 victory on Saturday was beyond the hopes of even their most loyal supporters. The win continues Te Puna's fine start to the Baywide Premier season as they continue to play with style, substance and more than a little swagger.
Led by another masterful performance from captain and first-five Te Aihe Toma, and with a talented young backline outside him who love one-handed off-loads and scoring tries, this was a comprehensive victory.
To be fair to Tauranga Sports, they were missing five of their best players away with the New Zealand Under 20 and Chiefs Colts sides so it was a baptism of fire for their inexperienced replacements. They will learn plenty from this loss.
Tauranga started well enough with a brilliant finish from Emoni Narawa, who was a star of Hamilton Boys High School's First XV last year, to lead 5-3 but then struggled to get their hands on the ball and retain it.
Te Puna scored through winger Tana Tuhakaraina and halfback Jordy Stone for a handy 20-5 lead at the break with the wind behind them. Even on the Domain pitch in the worst condition long-term rugby fans have ever seen it, the Te Puna forwards and backs were able to keep their feet and recycle possession.
Kaydin Budd and Dan Baxter led numerous forward charges to set up clean, quick ball that the backs had fun with in the second half. There was a momentary setback when Tauranga captain Josh Hall scored to close the gap to 20-12 but it was a short-lived reprieve for the blue and golds.
Tuhakaraina, Hunter Mokomoko and Jayjay Su'emai scored the final three tries, with a couple of special assists from former St Kentigern College star Etonia Waqa, to end a special day for Te Puna.
Celebrations will be short-lived though, with another round of matches scheduled for Anzac Day, coach Aidan Kuka said.
"We will mark this down on our calendars as a pretty special day for the history of our club really. We put 43 on them at home last year but to score 40 points here at the Domain is as rare as anything," he said.
"The continuity is probably one of our strengths at the moment. The players are taking a lot of responsibility to gel together as forwards and backs and they get to training early and work on formations."
His Tauranga Sports counterpart, Euan Macintosh, says too many errors cost his side any chance of competing.
"Not surprised [at losing] when you look at how many errors we made and how many penalties went against us, both on attack and defence. Whether that is the boys not listening to the ref or a lack of discipline on our behalf, we can't expect to win a game with that many penalties against us.
"[Te Puna] built the momentum and when things went their way they kept building it. They have got some really good players out there so no surprises at the level of rugby they can play."
Baywide rugby results
Premier: Greerton Marist 21 Mount Maunganui 17, Te Puna 40 Tauranga Sports 12, Rotoiti 79 Whakatane Marist 7, Whakarewarewa 27 Te Puke Sports 25, Rangataua 69 Arataki 5, Ngongotaha 33 Paroa 12.
Division One: Ruatoki 16 Judea 0, Rangiuru 38 Marist St Michaels 34, Opotiki 46 Te Teko 0, Papamoa 68 Waimana 27, Kahukura 31 Murupara 24, Waikite won by default from Poroporo.
Development: Mount Maunganui 26 Greerton Marist 21, Te Puna 32 Tauranga Sports 12, Rotoiti 84 Whakatane Marist 7, Te Puke Sports 51 Whakarewarewa 10, Rangataua 53 Arataki 3, Ngongotaha 55 Paroa 8.
Anzac Day draw
Premier 2.45pm, Development 1pm
Paroa v Whakatane Marist, Lawson Park
Rotoiti v Whakatane Marist, Emery Park
Te Puna v Ngongotaha, Maramataga Park
Te Puke v Arataki, Murray Salt Stadium
Greerton Marist v Tauranga Sports, Greerton Park