A nailbiting last thirty minutes had Horowhenua Kāpiti fans on the edge of their seats during their team's semi-final against Mid Canterbury at Levin Domain last Sunday.
The visitors put themselves in front almost immediately and were 14 points up by the 13th minute. Much of the game was played in the HK half of the field as Mid Canterbury surged towards the home team's try line time and time again.
HK came back slowly but surely, was out in front for a short while and drew level at 24 all with about 30 minutes to go. The home fans were a lot more vocal by that time, urging on the team and the boys had enough left in the tanks for two more tries and stop Mid Canterbury from scoring any more points.
Coach Chris Wilton said a lot of determination was needed throughout the competition to get into the final against Wairarapa Bush.
"The Heartland competition has become much tighter. All teams have improved a lot. We are very happy having achieved a final at home."
About the final he said, "We do not have a great record against Wairarapa Bush. But finals rugby is different. Anything can happen. We are a very tight knit band of brothers who have been playing together for three months now and we are clear on what we want to achieve.
"Wairarapa Bush will also be highly motivated because Sir Brian Lochore, who lives in Masterton, will be travelling with them."
Nua is looking at making history by winning a national cup for the first time and in its history-making 125th year, Wilton said.
The fans are awesome he said and he's calling for the town to deck itself out in Nua gear and colours and for the community to come out to the game in large numbers on Sunday to support the team.
Horowhenua-Kāpiti will host Wairarapa Bush next Sunday at Levin Domain for the Lochore Cup final. Kick-off time yet to be decided.
FINAL SCORE: Horowhenua Kapiti: 34 (L. Ellison, T. Maki, R. Shelford, K. Kelemete tries; J. So'oialo 4 con, 2 pen) v Mid Canterbury: 24.