Napier West openside flanker Kace Elsworth-Robertson grabbed the first hat-trick at the 14th edition of the Wakely Shield rugby tournament which began in Taradale yesterday.
A second year player at the under-50kg tournament, which is played to honour Taradale matriarch Adele Wakely's 50 years plus service to the code, Elsworth-Robertson, scored his three tries for the defending champions in their 26-7 win against Hastings West.
His coach Simon Lord said yesterday's wet weather at the Tareha Recreational Reserve suited his troops.
"These were the conditions we anticipated and it suited our game plan. But at the same time kudos to Hastings West for the way they threw the ball around and strived to play to their strength regardless of the conditions."
Along with Elsworth-Robertson, inside back Connor Moody, who had stints at first and second five-eighth, and substitute second five-eighth Jack Adams were key architects of the Napier team's victory.
Hooker Preston Whatarau and lock Finn Barker, a son of former Hawks basketballer Murray Barker, were prominent in the Hastings West engine room.
Halfbacks Staazi Araia and Zane Treneman were the best of the Hastings West backs.
Hastings East prop Tawhirirangi Kiripatea also produced a hat-trick in his team's 50-5 drubbing of Saracens. Second five-eighth Kyan Cardie-Lowe, a son of former Maori All Blacks, Hurricanes and Magpies loosie Karl Lowe, scored two tries.
These two players and first five-eighth Jonty Lee were outstanding for Hastings East. Fullback JR Andersen and flankers Jontay Ferguson and Marcus Hildesheim impressed with their never-say-die approach for Saracens.
Organiser of the annual tournament Baz Wakely, a son of Adele, said before Hastings East took the field there will be plenty of interest in the team because they hadn't played any pre-tournament fixtures.
With yesterday's winning margin Hastings East suggested their match against Napier West on Friday, the final day of the tournament, could prove to be the shield decider.
Napier East scored some entertaining tries during their 27-10 win against Central. Second five-eighth Sam Start produced a player-of-the-match display for Napier East.
Centre Eneri McGrath and winger Tiare Reti were lethal attackers in the Napier East backline which relished quality service from halfback Hunter Kinney. Openside flanker Te Mana Pohatu, lock Rylan Noome and prop Tyler Vette were inspirational in the winning pack.
Central coach Peter Burne said his youngsters made a slow start and trailed 22-0 at halftime when they set a goal of winning the second half.
"We were thrilled to do that and look forward to building on how we finished that second half in our remaining matches."
Blindside flanker Bailey Kittow, No 8 Rueben Taylor and second five-eighth Jonty Bellerby were the pick of the Central players.
As has been the tradition with the tournament daily chess battle are played. Yesterday's winners were Napier West's Noah Kaio, Central's Dylan Bibby and Hastings East's Cassius Solomon. Tomorrow will see the tournament sprinter, goalkicker and management goalkicker titles decided.
Today's games will see Napier West take on Saracens from 12.30pm, Central take on Hastings West from 1.45pm and Hastings East play Napier East from 3pm.