It's a sight that will bring back many memories for caregivers who once spent their Saturday afternoons pinning up muddy rugby jerseys.

Black and blue striped shirts are hanging on a makeshift washing line outside Te Puna School as the community prepare to watch the Premier 1 rugby team compete in their first Baywide Rugby final today.

When the Bay of Plenty Times visited earlier this week, every car that passed gave a toot in support and principal Neil Towersey said there was a buzz around the school.

He said rugby was a big deal to the people of Te Puna and there was even an old book kept in one of the school's back rooms with all the names of students who had played for Te Puna since 1896.

Advertisement
Te Puna School supporting their rugby team in the Baywide final. Photo / Andrew Warner
Te Puna School supporting their rugby team in the Baywide final. Photo / Andrew Warner

"The rugby club is a huge part of the community. It reaches into all parts of the community."

A photo of the washing line had been shared on the school's Facebook page where past students gave their support to the team and others shared memories of being at the school.

"Someone shared a list of all of their past teachers. It's really nice to see those connections and it reinforces how strong the community is," Towersey said.

Te Puna School are getting behind their rugby team ahead of the final this weekend. From left: Davaughn Morris, Frazer Brown, Fred Bradley, principal Neil Towersey, Mataatia Tuhakaraina, Manzeryl Ruka and Reikura Clark. Photo / Andrew Warner
Te Puna School are getting behind their rugby team ahead of the final this weekend. From left: Davaughn Morris, Frazer Brown, Fred Bradley, principal Neil Towersey, Mataatia Tuhakaraina, Manzeryl Ruka and Reikura Clark. Photo / Andrew Warner

When asked who would win the final this weekend, Te Puna was the clear favourite among a group of Te Puna School students.

Student Frazer Brown said this weekend was special because it was the first time all three Te Puna teams; Premier 1, Premier 1 development and the senior reserves were in the final.

Rugby mad student Fred Bradley predicted a 23-18 win to his home team.

Meanwhile, the black and yellow Morris pick-up truck was parked up on Jellicoe St in Te Puke, as it always was before a home game.

Te Puke Sports club president Ashley Peat said the town was excited for the final this weekend. Photo / George Novak
Te Puke Sports club president Ashley Peat said the town was excited for the final this weekend. Photo / George Novak

Te Puke Sports club president Ashley Peat said everyone in town was excited to be hosting two finals this weekend.

"I think there will be a fair bit of Te Puna supporters heading out here so we'll need just as many Te Puke supporters."

Peat said he had already seen a few people sporting Te Puke rugby jerseys, but expected to see many more at the game.

"It's going to be a great day."

Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Finals Draw:

Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Premier 1 Final:

Te Puke Sports v Te Puna at Murray Salt Stadium

Premier kick-off: 2.45pm

Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Premier 1 Development Final:
Te Puke Sports v Te Puna at Murray Salt Stadium
Development kick-off: 12.30pm

Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Premier 2 Final:
Te Teko v Rangiuru at Dunderdale Park
Premier kick-off: 2.45pm

Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Premier 2 Development Final:
Ngongotaha v Opotiki at Ngongotaha Domain
Development kick-off: 1pm

Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Division 1 Final:
Ruatoki v Kahukura at Tuhoe Park
Premier kick-off: 2.45pm

Senior Reserves Final:
Ruatoki v Te Puna at Tuhoe Park
Kick-off: 12.30pm