Hastings West head coach Anthony Easson revealed the team's motto yesterday and it couldn't be more appropriate.
"Do the mahi [work] and you will get the treats," Easson said after West's 33-18 win against Hastings East in the Battle of Hastings at the Hawke's Bay Primary Schools Ross Shield rugby tournament at Napier's Park Island yesterday.
This saw West retain the Bill Mathewson Memorial Trophy and maintain their one-point lead at the top of the table. This means West will win the Ross Shield, the main treat, for the first time since 2011 should they beat Wairoa today.
West centre James Craig was again in hot form and grabbed a hattrick. However, substitute second five-eighth Phorte Gurnick received the most kudos from Easson for quality impact in the second half with two tries, one of which came after a solo 95m run, and a conversion.
Blindside flanker TJ Vekene was West's player-of-the match with a huge defensive workrate. Prop Jonty Good, who is normally a loose forward, shone with his breakdown work.
Easson praised the competitiveness of the East outfit and the work their head coach Glenn Varcoe and his coaching staff did to lift the East side after their loss to Central on day one.
"Yes all of our squad stepped up and played well as a team," East manager Kelly Frewin said.
Lock Michael Lansdown, a nationally-ranked age group swimmer, scored two tries for East.
Central won the Tino Amato Shield with a 17-0 win against Wairoa. Central lock Josh Leach was the player-of-the-match and he and fellow lock Dylan Wind were prominent in a team which had no passengers.
"We played as a team and kept our heads which meant we were able to put a bit of pressure on. We knew Wairoa were going to bring it in a clash of two country teams," Central head coach Rob Evans said.
Should his team beat Dannevirke tomorrow they will win the Life Members Salver for the best country team of the tournament.
"It was a tough game but Central were the better team on the day. They were a credit to their coaches and families," Wairoa head coach Sid Ropitini said.
Promising props Kael Maxwell and B.J. Beer-Stewart, lock Bailey Preston and flanker George Manson all impressed Ropitini in the physical clash.
Defending champions Napier won the Steve Cottrell Memorial Cup and kept their chances of a three-peat alive with a 59-12 win against Dannevirke. Napier head coach Matt Maxwell was thrilled with the manner in which his troops shook off the devastation associated with the previous day's draw with Wairoa.
Eleven-year-old winger Kiane Tuifoa and centre-fullback Janairo Spooner-Neera, a younger brother of former All Black Sevens player Trinity Spooner-Neera, shone in the Napier backline. Flanker Michael Beech and lock Jared Martin were tireless workers in the Napier pack.
Fullback Joshua Augustine was Dannevirke's player-of-the-match. Hooker Manaia Hauiti, who scored both of his team's tries, and flanker Charlie Free provided plenty of grunt to the Dannevirke pack.
Dannevirke manager Bevan Ellison said his team did the coaching staff proud and Maxwell said his troops were also proud of the effort Dannevirke produced.
The Central-Dannevirke clash will kick off at 11am today and will be followed by the noon clash between Wairoa and West before Napier play Hastings East at 1pm.