They have pulled off seven wins in a row, but Te Puke Sports' winning streak has already been consigned to history.

After sweeping aside everything before them in the second phase of the 2018 Baywide Rugby competition to head the table, the Pirates look odds on to beat Mount Maunganui in tomorrow's semifinal.

But, as player-coach Matt Wallis points out, what has happened up to now is irrelevant.

All four semifinalists are in the same boat — win and your season continues, lose and 2018 is over.


Te Puke beat the Mount 34-0 last time the two sides met, but Wallis says that result is no prediction of how this weekend will pan out, expecting their oponents to be "dangerous" on the field.

''They've got a lot more players back from injury now and they will add a lot to the team.
They'll be dangerous, but we just have to be well prepared for whoever they put out on the park. Our main focus is what we do.''

Te Puke have clicked in the eight-team Premier 1 competition, and a big part of their success is in the nine and 10 pairing of Luke Campbell and Jason Robertson.

''I think we've got a good bunch of boys. We've got a system going and they've stuck to it,'' Wallis said.

''When you've got guys in crucial positions who are very good players, it helps the whole team out.''

He says the goal through the whole season is to back up week on week.

''When we have a good performance, we try and play just as well the next week, if not better. And being a semifinal, you have to step up again because teams don't get in there by chance, they get in there because they're good and they are going to throw everything at you.''

Carlos Basham, injured in the game against Whakarewarewa a month ago, could be back on Saturday, but Wallis has lost reserve loose forward Luke Perrott to injury while hooker Cheyenne Dalley is out for the season.


Mount Maunganui scraped into the fourth semifinal spot on points differential. The other semifinal pits Te Puna against Tauranga Sports.

The Pirates wound up the round robin section with a 51-12 win over Greerton Marist last Saturday. Te Puke's development side have also made it to the play-offs and will also play Mount Maunganui in their semifinal.

In the Division 1 grade, Kahukura will host third-placed Judea at Kuirau Park tomorrow.

The two sides met last weekend, in the last of the round robin matches. Kahukura already had a semifinal spot sewn up while Judea had to win to make the top four, which they did, coming from behind to win 26-13.

Kahukura coach Ron Preston said making the semifinals meant a lot to the club and they were determined to make the most of the opportunity.

"We've been at this stage in the last six or seven years and haven't made it past the semifinals. So, one of our goals is obviously to make the final - we've been there or thereabouts but not been able to make that final step.

"We're really proud of how the boys have stuck to the task. The goal was to make the final and win it, this game is a stepping stone, but we're under no illusions, it will be tough."

He said having a home semifinal was a big advantage.

Early on in the season, Judea did not look like a side capable of making a semifinal, losing their first eight games. However, once they figured out the winning formula there was no stopping them.

Coach Dale Bigwood said the team was excited to achieve their goal of making the top four.

"Now we're looking to kick on and win it, that's the next goal. We're quietly confident against Kahukura, we've had a victory each this season and we felt they were lucky in the first round. We're looking forward to playing them again.

"[Winning last weekend] was a big confidence boost, but we're aware that there was nothing in it for them. We had to win to make the playoffs, whereas they were already through."

He wanted a stronger performance from his forward pack this weekend.

Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Semifinals and Finals Draw

Premier 1 Semifinals
(Kickoff: 2.45pm)
Te Puke Sports v Mount Maunganui Sports at Murray Salt Stadium
Te Puna v Tauranga Sports at Maramatanga Park

Premier 1 Development Semifinals:
(Kickoff: 1pm)
Te Puke Sports v Mount Maunganui Sports at Murray Salt Stadium
Te Puna v Tauranga Sports at Maramatanga Park

Premier 2 Semifinals
(Kickoff: 2.45pm)
Te Teko v Arataki at Dunderdale Park
Opōtiki v Rangiuru at Princess Street Reserve

Premier 2 Development Semifinals
(Kickoff: 1pm)
Ngongotahā v Te Teko at Ngongotahā Domain
Rangiuru v Opōtiki at Princess Street Reserve, Opōtiki

Division 1 Semifinals
(Kickoff: 2.45pm)
Ruatoki v Paroa at Tuhoe Park
Kahukura v Judea at Kuirau Park

Division 2 Final
(Kickoff: 2.30pm)
Reporoa v Katikati at Reporoa

Senior Reserves Semifinals
(Kickoff: 1pm)
Tauranga Sports v Te Puna at Tauranga Domain
Ruatoki v Greerton Marist at Tuhoe Park