Take a bow Hastings Rugby and Sports ... you walked the talk in style on Saturday!
With their thrilling, intense and, at times, brutal 40-27 win over WIT Napier Old Boys Marist in the feature fourth round Tui Maddison Trophy clash at Elwood Park Auto Super Shoppe Hastings Rugby and Sports ended the visitors unbeaten run at 45 games, one short of the Hawke's Bay club record set by Clive during from the 1999 to 2001 seasons.
"We talked about it and we put it out there on the field. We had to work hard to do it too," Hastings prop and player-of-the-match Jason Long said afterwards.
"Today was all about getting the win and playing our game. We weren't worried about stopping them from getting the record ... our big focus was staying in the game for 80 minutes and we achieved that. We had to meet them physically and we did that too."
Long, 26, had his best match of the season and Hastings co-coach Tivaini Fomai said captain and No 8 Ben Hamelink, halfback Folau Fakatava and winger Mason Emerson were close behind him. All of the Hastings players can be proud of their contributions.
"I had a slow start to the season. I just have to keep getting better and better with each game so I'm ready come Mitre 10 Cup time," Long added.
There were two key moments in the game for the hosts who appeared to relish the support coming from the drums of fullback Ioane Ioane's relatives. In his 100th appearance for the hosts, Ioane had to leave the field early in the second half after being knocked out.
One moment was winger Saifiti Saifiti's intercept try just before halftime which put Hastings ahead 21-17. Another was when loosie Fale Matamata stole a turnover in their red zone, which allowed the classy halfback-first five-eighth combo of Folau Fakatava and Danny Toala to complete a superb exit play.
NOBM head coach Craig Gowler labelled Emerson, in his 50th match for the hosts, as the player-of-the-day. His gutsy defence stopped three NOBM tries and he scored a 75 metre run away of his own.
"We weren't too focused on the record. It's not a record until you get it and this loss could be good for the club," Gowler said.
Lock Matt Gardner, loosie Ricky Hayes and centre Shae Tucker were the visitors best.
Taradale 18 Pirate 18
Taradale Rugby and Sports manager Paul Wise was ropeable with his troops after this draw at Tareha Recreation Reserve.
"We lacked the intensity and necessary hunger. Our boys need to man up," Wise said.
First five-eighth Brad Truesdale was the pick of the Taradale backs and tighthead prop Kelsey Miller and captain and No 8 Andrew Gardner were again prominent in the pack. Previously winless in the Maddison Trophy rounds, Tanalised Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports, can be proud of their improvement.
"We had opportunities to win but didn't capitalise on all of them," Pirate manager Charles Reid said.
Powerful Pirate prop Pouri Rakete-Stones was the best player on the paddock. Experienced second five-eighth Matt Hill and winger Kane Nepe-Apatu were an enterprising pair in the Pirate backline.
Havelock North 35 MAC 25
Progressive Meats Havelock North did well to win this Anderson Park encounter with three key players away at former player Ihaia West's wedding.
Fullback Adam Blake shone with his goalkicking and general play. Regular winger Trent Hape played halfback and scored two tries and openside flanker Jacob Stephenson again impressed with his workrate.
The concession of crucial penalties proved costly for MAC. New openside flanker Solomone Funaki was again dynamic for the visitors.
Fullback Tom Iosefo and centre Johnny Ika were a classy pair in the MAC backline.
Central 32 Tamatea 24
Magpies lock Tom Parsons was inspirational for Northfuels Central in this victory at Waipukurau's Central Park.
Parsons scored two tries and was full of authority at set piece time. Fellow lock Scott Mathias and openside flanker Tomo Fogarty were also workaholics in the host pack.
"We had our moments but were inaccurate a few times. At the same time I must praise Central's work ethic," Jarks Tamatea head coach Matt Marsh said.
Former utility back Jimi Harris was again constructive and destructive as required at openside flanker for Tamatea. The visitors' halfback-first five-eighth combination of Mataeus Marsh and Lincoln McClutchie operated well.
Clive 58 Tech 36
K9 Pet Foods Clive gave fullback Moses Riley a winning 100th in this Farndon Park encounter.
Riley joined Hurricanes squad centre Jonah Lowe, who scored two tries, as the best of the Clive backs. Busy No 8 Adam Jones and openside flanker Jesse Tuhua were others to make head coach Vaine Maui's MVP list.
Altherm Window Systems Napier Technical manager Cyril Whitburn said the Texans started well and established a 14-0 lead before drifting off the game plan. Loosehead prop Perrin Manuel, hooker Matt Meyers and No 8 Todd Cushing were gutsy in the visiting pack.