City RFC announced themselves as the club to beat in the inaugural weekend of Northland's women's rugby competitions with two wins from two games.
The first fixtures of the premier club rugby competition were held on Friday and Sunday while games from the under-15 and under-18 10s competitions were played on Monday. This was the first time in at least five years that Northland has had a formal premier women's rugby competition, according to Northland Rugby.
City made a strong statement in their game against OB Marist on Friday at Kensington Park with a 91-8 win. With injuries and late player withdrawals, OB Marist were immediately put on the back foot, but a dominant display from a structured City team saw them take a commanding first-round win.
The combined Kamo Hawks side also got underway with a win as they completed a 41-12 victory against Horahora in Kamo on Friday. While the visitors brought the physicality, the home side executed a clear game plan to run in some good team tries.
Dealing with a few late player withdrawals of their own, Horahora's brand of rugby was exciting and will be an intriguing prospect as the season progresses.
In the only game on Sunday, a large crowd witnessed a Kaikohe try-fest as the home side took apart a struggling Dargaville OB team, 125-0, in Kaikohe.
A mix of the home side's young and experienced players set up the large scoreline with Kaikohe fullback Manaia Webb crossed the tryline six times while new first-five Tyler Nankivell contributed 20 points in her first match.
In the under-15 10s competition on Monday, City RFC took their second victory against Kaikohe away from home, winning 67-10. Almost 100 spectators came to watch the well-contested game, but it was City's clear structure and game plan which proved the club's depth and talent.
The other game of the competition was a narrow 29-27 win to OB Marist over Kerikeri in Kerikeri on Monday. Despite both teams having their fair share of inexperience, the game was entertaining to those who made the trip and showed the natural talent this competition would cultivate.
With Northland College pulling out of their fixture against Kerikeri due to low numbers, only one game of the under-18 10s competition took place on Monday with the Wellsford Wolves overtaking the Western Sharks, 65-7.
In front of a vocal crowd under lights at Centennial Park in Wellsford, the home side adapted well to the game's pace and took the advantage. Wolves captain Drew Crosbie was strong on defence while teammate Louisa Tubailagi ran in seven tries.
With a few clubs still to adapt to the various competitions, Northland Rugby women's rugby development manager Scott Collins said he was glad to see the first weekend ticked off.
"We've had a few challenges come through with players getting used to travel and playing on a Monday, but the reception has been pretty good so far," he said.
Collins said Kaikohe's huge scoreline against Dargaville OB didn't reflect the passion and skill with which the visitors played and he was confident the scores would level out as the competition went on.
He said the players would become more comfortable with the game's pace and style under the tutelage of more experienced players across the clubs.
"The younger players stood off a bit when they didn't know rules, but by the end they were getting into it.
"For a lot of the older players, it's just great to be out there playing and for the young ones, it's just about getting involved."
Te Rarawa had the bye in the premier competition while the Northland College and Kerikeri fixture in the under-18 competition will be replayed at a later date.