Try telling Clive prop Nathan Bruce there could be another two seasons of premier rugby left in him and he's quick to reply.

"I told the boys this week this is my last season. It would be awesome to go out with a Maddison Trophy winner's medal ... I've been trying since 2002 and I've never had one."

If Bruce and his K9 Petfoods Clive side can play as well as they did in Saturday's 21-18 semifinal win over Altherm Window Systems Napier Technical in this Saturday's final against Napier Old Boys Marist he could experience an appropriate send off from premier play in his 230th appearance.

"This win will give us confidence. We've bought into each other and we know what each other can do. Everyone will love to see it," Bruce, 35, said.


A second generation Clive player, who played all of his JAB rugby for the riversiders, Bruce, pointed out by reaching the final for the first time since 2008 it's going to make it easier for the riversiders to recruit players during the coming seasons.

Three seasons ago he travelled from Wellington to play each week for Clive because they were short of front rowers.

"I'll be there to help next season I just don't want to play."

Superior composure and higher patience levels in their attacking 22 were the keys to Clive's victory.

Former Maori All Blacks flanker Karl Lowe had a huge workrate for the visitors at No 8.

His brother and former Baby Blacks outside back Jonah Lowe was a classy centre and first five-eighth Tiaan Falcon again showed why he has the words world champion Baby Black on his sporting CV.

While the Texans need to be commended for their entertaining approach the call should have gone out for a more conservative approach when the miracle passes didn't come off.

Fullback Jordan Faia deserved his two tries and first five-eighth Tamati Samuels regularly sliced through the riversiders defence.

Captain and prop Mark Braidwood and lock Elijah Martin were inspirational in a Tech pack which had no passengers.

Although there was a tricky wind Clive fullback Tianua Poto did well to land four of his five attempts at goal and Tech halfback Johnny Bristol landed all three of his attempts.

NOBM 26 Hastings 22
"One hell of a game."

This is how Hawke's Bay Insurances Limited Napier Old Boys Marist head coach Craig Gowler described this Park Island-hosted semifinal.

"Hastings were a completely different team to the one we played in our previous two encounters. They were amazing, well coached and well drilled. They wanted it just as much as us."

At the same time Gowler was quick to praise the defensive effort of his troops particularly during the final minutes when centre Migao Lauano and prop Jarvy Aoake were sin-binned by referee Tipene Cottrell for professional fouls.

Halback Zac Donaldson was again a key architect as the defending champions posted their 33rd consecutive win.

Regular Magpies halfback Ellery Wilson, who started at second five-eighth for the second consecutive week in his 50th appearance for the hosts, was forced from the field with an ankle injury in the 55th minute which is likely to force him out of the final.

Gutsy blindside flanker Jack Nelson-Murray is also epected to miss the final with a broken nose collected in the 65th minute.

"Yes our boys played pretty well ... we gave it a good shot," Ansin & Monteith Hastings Rugby and Sports co-manager James Rosenberg said.

"A couple of errors when we were hot on attack cost us. Both teams had good periods of attack and when we had good field position they defended well. But our scrum had good patches and our set piece play was good."

Centre Timo Vaiusu was a regular threat on attack.

Hurricanes lock and the Hawke's Bay Magpies 2016 player-of-the-year Geoff Cridge and world champion Baby Blacks No 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu'u provided quality go forward ball for the visitors.