Two teams with finals experience will slug it out in the Tyrepower Northland premier rugby final.
Fans can rightfully treat the crowning match as the curtainraiser to the second All Blacks v Ireland test this weekend.
A gripping semi-final clash saw hosts Hora Hora crash out in front of their home fans against a fired-up Waipū side 14-7.
While Mid Northern, laden with a number of Northland Taniwha players, accounted for neighbours Ngāti Hine Moerewa United Kawakawa 47-19 in Hukerenui in Saturday's other semi-final.
Moerewa, playing in their first premier finals since cracking into the top division three years ago, rightly feel they've created history getting that far in such a short timeframe with a bunch of boys hewn from the local valleys.
"We won't dwell on the result. We set the goal of being in the top four so we've achieved our goal for the year," coach Wayne Martin said.
"We'll take the salt and we'll use it next year to keep rubbing into those wounds for next year and keep building."
Martin said his team paid the price for making too many mistakes in the semifinal against a quality outfit.
However, their average age of 24 made them a young side still learning to compete at this level.
"We did make history. We are the first team in the north zone north of Whangārei to make a semi-final appearance in the prems competition and we've just got to build on those and create more history," Martin said.
Pinned in their own 22m line for most of the first spell, Moerewa struggled with their set piece play - especially lineout.
The hosts opened the scores in just the fourth minute through Mid Northern hooker Valance Yates after which Moerewa replied through a well-worked rolling maul off a lineout that saw No 2 Gil Cann-Vaana crash over. It was his team's first foray into the opposition 22.
Two tries in quick succession to first five John Cooper and skipper Kalani Going saw Mid Northern take a 17-7 lead as Moerewa started conceding penalties in the second quarter of the match.
The second half started horrendously for the visitors. Their lock Tuukalikali Vaipulu knocked the ball from kick-off in his 22 and Mid Northern fullback Kealii Leuluai pounced on the left flank.
But that did not dampen Moerewa's spirit. Halfback Lisati Milo-Harris picked the right runner off a ruck ball when he offloaded to a rampaging Michael Davis to dive over for his team's first try in the second half.
Mid Northern's finals experience showed as they mixed things up and the injection of former Taniwha skipper Jordan Olsen added more bite and physicality to their attacking game.
Going said his team, having played in finals footy, knew how to shut the game out despite the tough fight.
Moerewa was hard to stop if they got their tails up, he said.
"That was our main goal to not let them get a sniff. They had a really good forward pack and it's get tiring if we keep running up the middle so we tried to switch it up."
For Moerewa captain Aorangi Stokes, bowing out in the semis was bittersweet but he shared his coach's sentiments about the team's historical season.
"We needed to keep and maintain the ball in the second spell and we showed when we maintained the ball we were actually real positive, we were scoring tries, creating opportunities but it was our inexperience in some parts that we didn't execute all the way.
Stokes said they were "working extremely hard" to bring players from Ngāti Hine.
"There's a big goal of ours to bring our people back home and show them there's a pathway to get into those higher honours.
"We want to turn our club into our own Mid Northern, want to be a factory of good and outstanding rugby players and also community people as well. We pride ourselves into
utilising rugby as a vehicle," he said.
Stand-in Waipū coach Steve Bean attributed his team's semi-final win to a huge defensive effort for prolonged periods of play and a great forward battle.
He applauded his forwards for playing the full 80 minutes in the last eight games but the focus now shifted to the big dance this weekend against an experienced side.
Hora Hora mentor Marcelle Kaipo said his young side could only build from where they finished this season.
"The hits are harder, the speed of the game faster in finals footy and Waipū adapted better than us. We couldn't maintain the ball long enough, could string phases together and there's no real time to think...you've got to react."
Kaipo said the nature of this year's premier competition where up to seven teams were still in the running for the playoffs until the last round would augur well for the growth of rugby in Northland.
The premier final between Mid Northern and Waipu at Semenoff Stadium kicks off at 4pm on Saturday.