Hawke's Bay Magpies head coach Mark Ozich is eyeing more victories against premiership teams next year.
His Magpies did well to record two wins, a draw and a loss against premiership opponents this season before losing 12-7 to Bay of Plenty in the Mitre 10 Cup Championship final.
After next season's crossover fixtures were announced, Ozich said more victories against premiership opponents will be the goal.
"Several of our youngsters will be in their third year of Mitre 10 Cup play so this is good timing to draw opposition like we have," Ozich said.
Hawke's Bay will host this season's beaten semifinalists Canterbury and beaten finalists Wellington in home games against premiership opponents and travel away to play Bay of Plenty and North Harbour.
"Wellington are always a good local derby and I'm sure we will get a good crowd for that one. We always go well at home against them," Ozich said.
This season, the Magpies drew 27-all with the Wellington Lions at Napier's McLean Park.
The Magpies didn't face Canterbury this year but in 2018 were competitive with the Cantabs until the final quarter during a 49-24 loss in Christchurch.
"Playing Bay of Plenty will be a good opportunity for us to try to gain revenge for this season's loss in the final.
"This Battle of the Bays fixture always generates plenty of engagement with the local community and I'm sure next year's will be no different," Ozich said.
While the Magpies didn't play North Harbour this year, there were some entertaining tussles between the two sides last year and in 2017.
Last year it was a tight encounter until the final six minutes when Harbour raced away to win 51-34 in Napier. In 2017, North Harbour were lucky to win 33-30 in Albany.
As has been the case in recent seasons, the Magpies will play all of their Championship opponents next year plus their four crossover matches. Dates and venues for all 10 fixtures will be finalised next year.
Representatives from all 14 teams met this week for the annual crossover selection picks.
Chief executives and team management take part in the selection process, with each team picking one home and one away fixture. Their two other crossover matches are selected by the opposition.