A high penalty count cost Tauranga Sports dearly in their week three Baywide rugby clash, with Mount Maunganui taking the win in a close battle.
Mount Maunganui Sports claimed a 24-19 victory on Tauranga Sports' home ground on Saturday. Three weeks into the Farmlands Co-Operative Baywide Rugby Premier competition, it was Mount Maunganui's second win and Tauranga's second loss.
Mount coach Reuben Parkinson says they have a lot to take away from that win and are looking ahead to week four.
"We just need that confidence that we are good enough to compete," Parkinson says.
"If we had dropped that game it could have made it difficult, but we have to move forward and it is going to be very tight. We have to keep working hard at training and trusting each other."
Mount take on Greerton Marist this weekend and Parkinson says his side has to improve in all areas.
"We control our own destiny and if we don't front in our areas we let teams to get up on us. We have a system we have implemented and we showed glimpses of it. It comes from the boys working harder off the ball and us attacking what is in front of us and not pre meditating.
"The first round is about us getting better at being us, then improving tactically in the second half of the year. We don't have any superstars, we just have salt of the earth hard workers. We work on and off the field and try and bring in those really good club values.
"Things like acknowledging our supporters is really important to us. I believe if we tick all those boxes we will do well."
Tauranga Sports conceded a 14-2 penalty count in the first half of their fight against Mount Maunganui and coach Culum Retallick says it is hard to win a game where you give away that many penalties.
"They had a lot of ball but we also had opportunities. Our set piece was really good and our phase play wasn't too bad," Retallick says.
"Mount also had a good line speed but it is our discipline that needs work.
"The dumb penalties we can talk about, guys are going to have a crack at the ruck, that is what we teach them. We will work on things around the breakdown, so the action the player takes is the right one."
Tauranga's one win from their first three games makes it more important for them to win the majority of their six remaining matches to ensure they remain in the top flight for the second half of the season.
They are ninth after three weeks and are the only team with one victory.
Arataki, Te Teko and Ōpōtiki are the only sides without a win this season while Te Puke top the table as the only unbeaten team.
Retallick says the club lost 13 players from last year and thinks this year's will be a fairly even competition.
"I think Te Puke and Te Puna will lead the way and everyone else is going to scrap.
"We don't really talk about how many games we need to win, we are just going to stick to our game plan and our shape."
In week four Tauranga Sports face Whakarewarewa and Retallick says although their opponents are "traditionally a big physical side", the squad's focus is on themselves.
Rangiuru's 52-5 win over Te Teko at the weekend sees the Western Bay side move into second place while five teams are level on points in third place, with two wins.
Farmlands Co-operative Baywide results
Te Puna 52 Whakarewarewa 26, Te Puke Sports 50 Greerton Marist 10, Rangataua 32 Arataki 28, Rangiuru 52 Te Teko 5, Rotoiti 27 Ōpōtiki 15, Mount Maunganui 24 Tauranga Sports 19.
Te Puna 93 Whakarewarewa 0, Te Puke Sports 31 Greerton Marist 14, Rangataua 51 Arataki 19, Rangiuru 44 Te Teko 0, Rotoiti 26 vs Ōpōtiki 21, Mount Maunganui 33 Tauranga Sports 27.
Waikite 29 Whakatāne Marist 10, Ruatoki 29 Marist St Michael's 29, Paroa 41 Pāpāmoa 17, Ngongotahā 31 Kahukura 17, Judea 17 Reporoa 14, Murupara 20 Poroporo 14.