Satisfaction, and relief.
Head coach Mark Ozich and his champions felt both after their 36-24 win over what some saw as unlikely Mitre 10 Cup Championship finalists Northland on Friday night at McLean Park.
After aspiring for promotion in the past two seasons and coming close, the Hawke's Bay Magpies are now there.
"Promotion is something we've been striving for for a year or two now," Ozich said.
"But I know that myself and the players are pretty emotionally and physically drained after a long year."
Ozich said the team, including himself, have all continued to learn and develop from each game since 2018 when he took over.
"We've got young talent through key positions like eight, nine, 10, 12, so their education in what it takes to be a professional ... it's all about learning and getting those experiences," he said.
"We're a really tight, connected group, led really well by [captain] Ash [Dixon], so I'm hopeful that we'll get better and better."
After enjoying the Friday night victory celebrations, Ozich said in a few weeks or so he would turn his attention to next year and the Premiership division.
Hawke's Bay's win caps an impressive rise in the three seasons under Ozich, going from semifinalists in 2018, to beaten finalists last year, to getting over the line this season.
Dixon said he couldn't be more proud of the season he and his team had experienced.
"I guess the footy we played inspired our fans to keep coming week in and week out," he said.
Dixon said the players were nervous in the first half and it showed in their play.
But the hooker said they stuck to their structures, backed themselves and scored good team tries after the break.
Northland had a perfect start to the game though, forcing Hawke's Bay into conceding consecutive five metre attacking scrums.
That pressure allowed Taniwha prop Luatangi Li to cross over from close range for the opening try in the eighth minute.
It drew an immediate response from the Magpies, with centre Stacey Ili teeing up Jonah Lowe for a try out wide with a pinpoint grubber kick.
It wasn't too much longer after the Magpie's opening thrust that Hawke's Bay openside flanker Solomone Funaki dragged three defenders with him for plenty of metres, and just refused to be held.
He eventually offloaded to second five Neria Fomai, who accelerated away for a 16th minute try.
Northland hit back though, with centre Rene Ranger teeing up halfback Will Grant for a try to tie the scores at 12-all.
They took the lead back in the 27th minute with an awesome team try from inside their own half finished off by flanker Tom Robinson.
Then it was the Magpies turn to punch back with a try to winger Lolagi Visinia as the hosts gave the ball some air after a good lineout drive.
Both teams had their opportunities in the final 10 minutes of the half but couldn't make them count, and the 17-all scoreline at the break reflected an evenly matched contest.
Hawke's Bay started brighter in the second though, with Lowe throwing a brilliant dummy to fool the covering defence and go in for his second try.
In the 51st minute halfback Folau Fakatava made a break and lost the covering Scott Gregory with a big step, teeing up Neria Fomai to score once more with his ninth try assist of the season, the most "assists" in the Mitre 10 Cup.
And the floodgates began to open for Hawke's Bay, with Dixon getting his ninth try of the year just before the hour mark.
The inspirational skipper had one ruled out for a knock-on before that, and Devan Flanders also had a try scrubbed out for a forward pass.
But as they have been for much of the season, the Magpies were in undeniable form, and only got better as more substitutes came onto the field.
The crowd of about 7500 fans went wild on the final whistle, as Hawke's Bay claimed their third Mitre 10 Cup Championship title in a decade.
Hawke's Bay 36 (Jonah Lowe 2, Neria Fomai 2, Lolagi Visinia, Ash Dixon tries; Lincoln McClutchie 2/3 cons, Folau Fakatava 0/1 con, Caleb Makene 1/2 con)
Northland 24 (Luatangi Li, Will Grant, Tom Robinson, Tamati Tua tries; Daniel Hawkins 1/3 con, Johnny Cooper 1/1 con)