Film sequels always tend to be far less entertaining than the original. But for Northland club rugby this shouldn't be the case.

The Bayleys Premiership and Premier Reserve finals are identical to last year but both have the capacity to be absolute thrillers.

Old Boys Marist look to defend their Premiership title against Mid Northern and the Premier Reserve crown against Kamo at Toll Stadium.

OBM picked up the Joe Morgan Memorial Trophy in 2016, grabbing the 28-10 win in impressive fashion.


OBM have been impressive in 2017. They average almost 45 points per contest in a year where they dropped only one game (29-27 to Wellsford).

They were the top side defensively as well, conceding just under 17 points a week.

Their big strength lies in the backline. Marshalled by Northland halves combination Matty Markwick and Peter Breen, they've struck fear into most teams they've come up against.

OBM are coming off a dominant semifinal performance where they comfortably accounted for Hora Hora 64-17.

However, Mid Northern will be quietly confident. After a bumpy end to the round-robin stage, Mid Northern hit their straps in the semifinals against a determined Waipu outfit to come out muddy 24-10 victors.

Led by instrumental hooker Jordan Olsen, Mid Northern have proven their big game mettle.

While OBM have led the statistics on attack and defence, Mid Northern have been no slouches.

Old Boys Marist halfback Matty Markwick will be a key figure come Saturday. Photo/Tania Whyte
Old Boys Marist halfback Matty Markwick will be a key figure come Saturday. Photo/Tania Whyte

They've averaged 28 points while conceding only 20. More importantly, they've struck a bit of form at the right time.

The weather outlook isn't the best for the match, with showers expected in the morning, though they should clear before kick off.

Poorer weather may play into Mid Northern's hands as they've proved in two consecutive semifinals that bad conditions are certainly not a hindrance for them.

However, no matter what the conditions are like, both sides will be primed to etch their names on the trophy.

Meanwhile, the curtain-raiser will be just as exciting as Kamo look to reverse their fortunes from 2016 with a win over OBM.

OBM grabbed a 22-13 victory last season to complete one half of the club title double.

Previous matches between the two foes have been tight with their last four encounters being decided by less than nine points.

Kamo have been the premier side in 2017, dropping just two matches throughout their campaign.

They proved to be the most defensively stout side in the competition, conceding just 12 points every time they cross the white painted line.

Kamo also showed they can handle the pressure cooker as they defeated a strong Waipu side 30-25 in a come from behind win.

But defending champions OBM won't be easy to knock off. They accounted for Mid Northern 36-5 in a strong win despite terrible conditions.

They've got the wood on attacking prowess throughout the round-robin, albeit slightly (37.4 to 36.9 points per game).

OBM are also strong on defence and will be hoping to repeat their 22-13 win from last season.

Last five matches:
Old Boys Marist v Mid Northern
Round 10, 2017: OBM 45-17
Round 1, 2017: OBM 42-15
2016 Final: OBM 28-10
Round 11, 2016: Mid Northern 31-20
Round 2, 2016: OBM 25-10

Kamo v Old Boys Marist
Round 13, 2017: OBM 19-13
Round 4, 2017: Kamo 22-19
2016 Final: OBM 22-13
Round 17, 2016: Kamo 9-0
Round 8, 2016: OBM 28-11