The Hawke's Bay men's sevens team finished third at the annual Central Regional 7s Tournament in Levin at the weekend.
So were the Ellery Wilson-coached side happy?
"Umm ... we look at it as a good hit out but, obviously, our goal is to win the tournament and we couldn't quite achieve that," said team manager Tim Jones after they beat Whanganui 36-0 in the pool stages, came up shy to lose 19-14 to Taranaki before trouncing hosts Horowhenua-Kapiti 40-5 at Levin.
• 'Quadzilla' Trae Williams to make rugby sevens debut for Australia
• All Blacks Sevens: Bay of Plenty athletes to debut at Fiji's Oceania Sevens
• Sevens: All Blacks sevens face 'intense review' after third straight quarterfinal loss
• Red Bull Ignite7: New Zealand Rugby search for next sevens talent
The Neria Fomai-captained Bay, who were runners-up at the same tourney last year, slumped 24-7 to Wellington in the semifinal but kept Manawatu at bay with a a 26-21 victory play-off for third.
Jones said the team reconciled their position with having secured the ideal pool with Wellington at the nationals in Tauranga on December 14-15. The other sides in that pool are Southland and Thames Valley.
"The boys were playing alongside each other for the first time so they were learning how each other plays," he said, revealing Wilson also came out wiser in having a better idea of where individuals would fit into the system with the nationals beckoning.
"It's also about knowing what the opposition are doing and what we need to do to improve in a couple of weeks."
Jones said against Taranaki the Bay had put them under pressure but couldn't finish the opportunities that arose from that.
He singled out Ollie Sapsford, labelling him an exciting prospect for the nationals because he was adept at different facets of the play, taking into account he hadn't played sevens for a while.
Sevens: MAC mend broken hearts with first Napier title
NOBM speedster hopes sevens path will lead to Magpies
"Jacob Stephenson was a workhorse while Tiaan Falcon had some classy touches."
Wilson is expected to announce the Bay squad for the nationals on Tuesday next week.
Wellington predictably beat Taranaki 26-5, to claim their third crown on the trot at Playford Park.
Manawatu and Wairarapa-Bush also made the cut for the nationals.
The Bay Tuis lost 24-7 to Manawatu in the women's cup final.
The Tuis were too good for Taranaki, prevailing 31-5 in the semifinals, while Manawatu overwhelmed Wellington 34-7 in the other.
They drew 19-all with Wellington in their opener, walloped East Coast 38-0 and overwhelmed Horowhenua-Kapiti 43-13 in pool play.
Manawatu, the Tuis, Wellington and Taranaki booked berths at the nationals.