"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ..."
While it's a bit theatrical, Charles Dickens isn't too far off describing the past week for Northland's women's and men's rugby teams.
If we start with the women, last week would have been one of the best for the fledgling team who are in their first season of New Zealand's domestic women's rugby competition, the Farah Palmer Cup (FPC).
The Northland Kauri, playing at Whangārei's Semenoff Stadium for the very first time on Sunday, claimed their first competition win over North Harbour, 27-21.
While the scoreline shows a six-point margin, the game couldn't have been any closer or more thrilling as Northland No 8 and former New Zealand rugby league representative Krystal Murray clinched the win with a try as the hooter sounded.
In its entirety, the Kauri couldn't have picked a better game for their first win in the FPC. The home team started with a hiss and a roar and looked to dominate their opponents with the lion's share of possession and territory.
However, as has been the case in the team's previous two games this season, Northland started to fall away towards the end of the first half and North Harbour came back strongly.
With history not in their favour, the Kauri came out rejuvenated in the second half and came from behind to take the victory in front of a vocal home crowd.
While it would have been very exciting for all players and staff involved in the team on Sunday, I can imagine a great deal of relief would have washed over coaches Cheryl Smith and Susan Dawson.
There has been no shortage of hype and build-up for this team which features current and former Black Ferns as well as raft of young talent making their mark on the national age-group scene.
So, to see that potential delivered in one fantastic performance at home and on Wahine Day as part of a double-header with the men's team, it was the perfect way to announce their winning intentions in this competition over the next few years.
In contrast, the men's team are struggling to keep their heads above water.
Six losses from seven games and a potential wooden spoon finish were definitely not in the pre-season plan for the Taniwha when they started their 2019 Mitre 10 Cup campaign, proudly selecting a group of talented local players ready to tackle heavy-hitting provinces Canterbury, Auckland and Taranaki.
While you could argue Northland's men's team are still hunting a full 80-minute performance, you can't say they haven't been trying and that's despite a horrendous injury record this season.
About seven would-be starters were sidelined ahead of Northland's most recent loss to Bay of Plenty on Sunday and it's sad to see the likes of Ranger, Robinson, Olsen and Goodhue dressed in their number ones rather than with the Kauri on their chest running out on to the park.
Read more: Taniwha on six-game losing streak
Injuries and lack of form has obviously had a big impact on the group who turned to waka ama last week as a way to hit the reset button and turn up for today's game against Wellington with a fresh state of mind.
With a semifinals chance all but gone, the boys in blue still have a chance to redeem themselves with their most likely chance of a win coming against Otago at Semenoff Stadium in the last game of the season.
It all comes down to mental fortitude and at that level for players so young, it must be hard to keep believing in the process if it's letting you down week by week.
But as with most things in life, the boys have just got to plug away. The odds tell us we will get one good game before the season ends but for now, all we can do is hope the Taniwha can take a leaf out of the Kauri's book.
Northland rugby fixtures (both today):
Kauri v Taranaki in Inglewood, kickoff at 2.30pm.
Taniwha v Wellington in Wellington, kickoff at 5.05pm.