With seven wins, a loss and a draw, Marist St Michael's have been one of the frontrunners in Division 1 this season, but on Saturday they were taken down by local rivals Kahukura 20-19.
Kahukura coach Brad Savage said that while the score was close, he always felt his side was on top and that many of the St Michael's supporters agreed.
"The scoreline was probably what we expected, it's always a tight game between Marist and Kahukura. To be honest they've probably got up over us in the last couple of years so we sort of owed them one as well, I guess.
"I think our line speed on defence was pretty good and we showed a lot of heart. Those are probably the main points that got us across the line. Although it wasn't a big score, we sort of felt quite comfortable most of the game.
"Speaking to their players and club members, throughout the 80 minutes we played the better rugby and probably deserved it more.
"They've been one of two or three teams who have been leading the way this season and by all accounts, in their eyes, they had an off day. But, they kept in touch and showed why they're one of the top teams by pulling it back and taking the lead with about five minutes to go," Savage said.
He said Kahukura had a lot of young players this season, so the focus was on helping them develop.
"We've got a few young teenagers who have come along after school, so we'll probably be in that bottom group of eight, but I think that's where we need to be until these guys have a bit more experience.
"They're young enthusiastic guys with plenty of potential, so if we can get this experience now and in another couple of years get into the top grade, maybe we can give them the exposure they need," he said.
Next week, the final weekend in round one, Kahukura travel to Waimana and Marist St Michael's travel to Te Teko.
Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Division One results
Ruatoki 55 v Waimana 12
Murupara 20 v Papamoa 12
Kahukura 20 v Marist St Michael's 19
Rangiuru 39 v Opotiki 12
Waikite 10 v Te Teko 7
Judea 36 v Poroporo 10
Central Bay of Plenty Senior Reserves
Reporoa A 61 v Eastern Pirates 5
Waikite 24 v Taupo 20
Reporoa B 24 v Marist St Michael's 12
Eastern Bay of Plenty Senior Reserves
Te Teko 32 v Matata 22
Edgecumbe 29 v Ruatoki 22