Samoan outside back JJ Taulagi pointed towards the sky as he described his contribution to Napier Technical's win in Hawke's Bay's premier club rugby competition on Saturday.
"I had a bit of help from the boss upstairs and as well as our forwards who provided the platform for us flashy boys in the backline," Taulagi said after Altherm Window Systems Napier Technical's 26-5 Tui Nash Cup rd 4 victory against Taradale Rugby and Sports at the Tareha Recreational Reserve.
A Mormon, fullback Taulagi, had a hat-trick during the first 50 minutes and again impressed with his pace, vision and slick passing. The former Queensland Reds and Japan Sunwolves Super player who made his international debut for Samoa last year has been in the Bay since the start of the club season hopes to secure the Magpies No 15 jersey this season.
"I'm blessed to be here in the Bay training alongside a talented bunch of boys," he added.
He was pipped for man of the match honours by Tech lock Elijah Martin who had a massive workrate against his former club. Prop Mark Braidwood was inspirational in the Texans engine room which got the better of the more fancied Taradale pack.
Halfback Dylan Ramsay was again gutsy and on one occasion stole the ball off his brother, Taradale second five-eighth Nathan Ramsay. Captain and No 8 Andrew Gardner was again tireless for Taradale and lock Jordan Kupa had a huge defensive workrate. Winger-centre Wade Woolly was the pick of the Taradale backs.
Pirates 26 Central 19
Tanalised Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports won the clash of the previously winless Pool A teams with this Waipukurau victory.
Blindside flanker Monty Tuala produced a player of the match display in his first starting XV appearance for the visitors. New Zealand Universities squad members, prop Pouri Rakete-Stones and lock Damien Scott, were prominent as Pirates dominated the business end of the even encounter.
Northfuels Central's veteran second five-eighth Stephen Baker, who played the entire match, deserved a better result in his 150th outing. Captain and openside flanker Tomo Fogarty led the hosts by example and lock Scott Mathias was another to empty the petrol tank for Central's cause.
"Pirates kept us in our red zone for most of the second half and we conceded too many penalties. However in saying that the officials did a good job this week," Central manager Ian Large said.
Havelock 32 Tamatea 25
Progressive Meats Havelock North's former Tamatea imports Toshi Amino and Shota Takano were among the villagers key architects of this Anderson Park victory.
Halfback Amino and centre Takano joined former Canterbury Sevens rep, winger William McGoon, who scored a hat-trick, as the best of the Havelock backs. Prop Te Kakau Ririnui was full of authority in the host pack.
"It was an awesome battle and we're improving each week which is all we want," Jarks Tamatea head coach Matt Marsh said.
Tighthead prop Mason Kean was again powerful in the Tamatea engine room. First five-eighth Lincoln McClutchie and second five-eighth David Neho provided plenty of spark to the visitors backline.
NOBM 76 Clive 0
Winger Mitch Drew scored three of WIT Napier Old Boys Marist's 12 tries in this Farndon Park walloping.
"Apart from the third quarter which wasn't too flash and saw our other winger, Sami Lauano, receive two yellow cards we played some nice rugby," NOBM head coach Craig Gowler said.
Busy No 8 Hannon Brighouse manufactured his second consecutive player of the match display as the Green Machine registered its 38th consecutive win. Centre Shae Tucker joined Drew as the pick of the NOBM backs.
K9 Petfoods Clive competed better than the score suggests. Halfback Bronson Hokianga was the best of the riversiders backs and flanker Josh Eden-Whaitiri and hooker Nathan Rolls shone with their never-say-die approach in the losing pack.
Hastings 46 MAC 13
Auto Super Shoppe Hastings Rugby and Sports joined NOBM as the only unbeaten teams after four rounds with this convincing Elwood Park performance.
Hastings manager James Rosenberg said the hosts' scrum again functioned well and he was happy with the manner in which his troops improved their line speed and exit plays after the previous week's close win against Havelock North. Prop Aleki Vuki and flankers Fale Matamata and Ben Hamelink in the pack and winger Mason Emerson all made Rosenberg's MVP list.
Regular prop Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe relished his start at No 8 just as Vuki did the previous week. Hooker Frank Tupuola was the most consistent of the MAC forwards and loosehead prop Amiga Mikaele was industrious.
Three yellow cards were handed to MAC players and one to the hosts.