If passion and rub of the green rather than superior skill level carry Waipū over the line, so be it.

The Bayleys Premiership final between Waipū and Kamo at Toll Stadium this afternoon is shaping up to be a titanic battle between a side that has to be favourites and one plagued by injuries but finds a way of winning.

Throw in clear skies and a vocal crowd behind their teams, this game should be soaked up for all it's worth because the next live rugby— Northland v Auckland in the Mitre 10 Cup— is some five weeks away.

Both coaches— Cam Goodhue for Kamo and Graham Dewes for Waipū — are salivating over the fact their teams haven't won the title in a long time.


Kamo are in the midst of a long-overdue rejuvenation under Goodhue who seems to have lit a few fires— so much so that six of his players, including three debutants, have forced their way into this year's Mitre 10 Cup squad.

Club rugby results since Goodhue took over may not be overwhelmingly supportive of that, but performances have been.

The way his players defended their line for prolonged periods of play in their semifinal win last weekend over defending Premier champions Old Boys Marist is testament to how far Kamo have come this season.

They have been mostly flat and disappointing in the past few seasons but their players are suddenly enthused and excited about the direction their club is heading.

Goodhue, who last played for Kamo in 2012, has obviously connected with the players and restored their passion for club rugby.

"The boys deserve to be in the final. They've played well this season and are excited. It's about which team turns up on the day.

"We'll try to get parity in our scrum and use our skills across the park. Toll Stadium is a good ground and hopefully the weather holds so it's going to be good, entertaining rugby."

Goodhue is pleased six Kamo players have been selected for the Northland team and said it was testament to the good work all his players put in this season.


Dewes, a former Fijian international, has been a quiet achiever who prefers to do his talking on the field.

A prop in his playing days, he has moulded Waipū's scrum and the rest of their set piece play into one of the strongest in the competition.

It's their big forward pack that Kamo will have to contain early.

In his first year as coach last season, Dewes guided Waipū to the semifinal where they lost to Mid Northern but managed to go one better this year.

The front row was injured in their semifinal win against Horahora last weekend and Dewes isn't sure who may be able to play.

"Our backs are against the wall but we're looking forward to the challenge. The players who take the field will give 100 per cent. There's definitely an opportunity for us to win, we've beaten them this year.

"We'll rely on passion and the rub of the green. We won't just play for the Bream Bay community but for all the smaller clubs that don't quite have the resource or big names."

Win or lose, Dewes said he was happy with the effort his players put in throughout the season to reach the final.

The game kicks off at 2.15pm.

The Premier reserve final between Kamo and Wellsford will be played at 12.30pm at the same venue.