The Hastings Boys' High School community was in celebration mode last night after they claimed the National Top Four rugby title for the first time.
Principal Rob Sturch described the moment the boys crossed the tryline in the final two minutes of the game as "pretty special".
"To be honest this is a special thing for a school and the disappointment of the one-point loss at last year's final made it that much sweeter here."
Hastings Boys' and Hamilton Boys' were neck-and-neck for most of the game with Bay supporters watching enthralled.
Mr Sturch, who was on the sideline for both the semifinal against Saint Kentigern College and the final yesterday, said it was "seriously nerve-wracking".
"It was a one-point game right up until the last two minutes, with the score locked at 18-17 for most of the second half."
When the boys took the score to 25-17 Hamilton had to score twice to get back in front with only time for one more kick-off.
"That nailed it, we knew it was all over. The boys were so chuffed and they had trained hard, they deserved it."
Mr Sturch said despite the difficulty of going into the competition as the favourites the boys managed to stay humble and stick to what they knew, defending well.
"It was a great couple of days and no one can take away 2017 so we will enjoy it and see what happens next year."
Acting Hastings deputy mayor Simon Nixon applauded the win and said it was "outstandingly good".
"It shows real talent coming through the system and hopefully they end up in the Magpies and produce the same sort of outcome."
He said it gave Hawke's Bay and Hastings a good profile, which was always useful.
"This is a good story and anything that draws attention to the region like this can only be a good thing."
The school's 1st XV rugby side and the under-14s, who won the Super Eight Final, will be recognised and congratulated in the school's assembly today.
"Not many schools can say they won a national rugby competition so we better enjoy it while we can."