Last rugby season was a golden one for Rangiuru's men's premier side.
With a shortened season, competition was at a sub-union level. Rangiuru coach Tanerau Latimer guided his charges to the Western Bay premier semifinal where they gave eventual champions Tauranga Sports a real fright, forcing the Tauranga side to come from behind to win 29-20.
But, as any coach will tell you, everyone starts the new season on an equal footing.
This season's premier competition has reverted to a Baywide affair, but with 11 teams, there will be a bye each week. For better or worse, it was Rangiuru that sat out the first round last weekend.
Last season Latimer had the services of national sevens reps including Regan Ware, Joe Webber and Ngarohi McGarvey-Black to call on, but with preparations for the Olympics taking precedence, that won't be the case in 2021.
''They are off doing their thing, but other than that we have a fairly similar group, with a couple of other players added to the mix,'' says Latimer.
Prop and captain Benet Kumeroa is one of two Rangiuru players who have picked up Bay of Plenty Rugby Union contracts during the summer and have been training with the Chiefs' Under 20s.
Kumeroa was also part of the 2020 New Zealand U20 camps but, due to Covid-19 restrictions and the cancellation of the World Rugby Tournament, was unable to press his claims for a spot in the final New Zealand U20 team.
''By all accounts he is doing really well and he was pretty stoked on how he went.
''Unfortunately for him, the Under 20s got ruled out, which is what is it, so now he has to go through the club scene, which is a different path to what players normally go for. But it doesn't mean he isn't going to get where he wants to get to.''
Latimer says there has been no goal setting prior to the first hit out.
''Let's put ourselves in a position to qualify for top eight and then sit down at the table and take things from there,'' he says.
The club had one pre-season game against Waikato University.
''It was a great little hit out. We were missing a few people due to other commitments such as Chiefs 20s and what not.''
He says he is fairly happy with the premier team's preparation for the season.
''All teams and players are busy trying to extract as much as they can without tipping them over the edge so they aren't buggered for work - that's the tricky thing with club rugby.''
He says there is a good, positive atmosphere around the club.
''When the season starts is when people will get excited and start talking,'' says Latimer who will once again be combining coaching duties and playing.
Rangiuru's belated start to the season is a home game against Ngongotahā on Saturday with the development sides kicking off at 1pm and the premiers at 2.45pm.