Any win for Tauranga Boys' College over Westlake Boys' High School in the traditional sports exchange is worthy of celebrating.
But it was particularly pleasing for this year's rebuilding first XV, who showed glimpses of their ability in a 31-22 win played at Nicholson Field in glorious conditions yesterday morning.
The hard fought win came after a heavy defeat to Hamilton Boys' High School in the Super 8 on Saturday and ahead of tomorrow's Super 8 match away at Palmerston North Boys' High School.
Westlake opened the scoring with a penalty and it took a good piece of individual skill from first five-eighth Izahn Le Comte to steady the nerves, as he scored and converted for a 7-3 lead.
Second five-eighth Wiremu Leef extended the lead when he finished off some sustained pressure against a Westlake side unbeaten so far this season. They showed their skills just before the break with a well-worked try to trail 14-8.
Tauranga should have increased their lead early in the second half but yet another unforced turnover spilled the ball free and Westlake were able to sprint away to score. Jock McKenzie converted to give the boys from the North Shore a 15-14 lead.
The school interval break came at just the right time for Tauranga Boys' as they suddenly had several hundred supporters, who made their presence felt, lining the field.
Right winger Chad-Isaiah Roberts, who was one of the best on the park, showed some Nehe Milner-Skudder-like steps to waltz through the Westlake defence to score a fine try.
Tauranga were in again two minutes later through Viveni Lasaqa to lead 26-15 but it was not over just yet as Westlake stormed back to be awarded a penalty try and to close to within four points.
Tauranga captain Shi Ji Jong finished off the visitors with a powerful burst to the line to clinch the 31-22 victory.
Tauranga Boys' co-coach Dan Goodwin said when his team stuck to the plan they looked really good.
"It is really about staying in the setup and sticking to what we want to achieve for longer. We probably tried a little too hard in places when we could have just held on and re-set, plus a few too many unforced errors.
"It was an important game for us and we wanted to win it but it was also a good opportunity for some of the boys who haven't played much and some new guys into our set-up."
Goodwin said Westlake have made a good start to the season but, like Tauranga Boys', used the game to blood some new combinations.
"They are unbeaten in their competition and they have a tough game on the weekend so they were missing a few of their key players as well."
Palmerston North Boys' will be a stern challenge tomorrow for Goodwin's team.
"It has been a tough week for us as we play Saturday, Wednesday and Friday. Palmy are a very good side, they are very well drilled and have already won two of their Super 8 games.
"They have probably a similar side to us. They don't have any out and out stars but they have boys willing to work really hard."