They love their rugby in Central Hawke's Bay but they have another love, on the first weekend in May.

Northfuels Central won their premier grade match on the weekend against Tamatea, but defaulted the previous match because 10 players were unavailable. The reason? It was the opening weekend for the duck shooting season.

Team manager, Ian Large said the team was not proud of cancelling and the players themselves would pay the fine, not the club.

The team notified their would-be Clive opposition of the no-show early, on Tuesday, so would unlikely receive the maximum fine of $500 for defaulting.

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The default meant almost all the team went shooting.

"When we had the default it allowed us to be duck shooting anyway. It just happened to be on the same weekend," tighthead prop, Joel Hintz said.

"Being a country club it's just what we're into I suppose."

Some players travelled as far as Waikato for opening weekend but in future a home match would be sought for opening weekend, giving local shooters enough time to get to their Waipukurau club and avoid the clash of the codes.

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