Whakarewarewa may have to travel away to contest Saturday's Bayfair Baywide premier club rugby final against Mount Maunganui, but at least they will feel right at home at Tauranga Domain.

The Rotorua side took advantage of every inch of Tauranga Sports' home ground during an intense semifinal, prevailing 18-17 in front of plenty of their travelling supporters last weekend.

Those numbers are likely to swell again tomorrow, with a host of Tauranga Sports fans likely to be among Western Bay of Plenty supporters turning against Mount Maunganui in favour of the black and reds.

A number of Te Puke Pirates are likely to be among them after the 2011 and 2012 champions were controversially knocked out at home by the Mount last week due, in part, to an early red card against flanker Dan O'Rourke in a match littered with incidents.


Mount Maunganui coach Rodney Voullaire did little to calm the ongoing fallout from that match, and seems to be using it for added motivation for his troops.

"The boys will be working just as hard as usual towards this final versus Whaka, and taking it very seriously," he said.

"We want and deserve this one. The focus in the media this week has been all about poor Te Puke and Tauranga not making it.

"Well I see it as we both deserve to be in the final. Our scores against the so-called 'top teams' show we both deserve to be here and this weekend we will show the Bay of Plenty supporters why.

"I'm sure Whaka will be trying to do the same, with the match on neutral ground, and throwing in some good weather and great referees, it will be a spectacle to watch." Whaka coaches Ngarimu Simpkins and Kopae Irihei have expressed disappointment the final will be contested in Tauranga rather than in Rotorua, providing more bulletin board material for a team not lacking in that department.

The side, without a single player to have earned an ITM Cup cap for Bay of Plenty, were organised and united against a Tauranga Sports side packed with Steamers last weekend and will go into the final with a siege mentality.

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Simpkins was less inflammatory in his assessment.

"We are at full strength, it's finals rugby and we've got a lot of confidence," he said.

"We're going to enjoy the day. Mount are a quality side, who have the right to be there as well as we do.

"We can't wait, we're looking forward to a good battle." The sides split their two meetings this season - the Mount won 43-21 in the first round before Whaka confirmed their playoff place with a 7-3 win in the wet to finish the regular season.

Brett Johnson, who Whaka requested not control their semifinal after being on the wrong end of his penalty count against Tauranga Sports in the first round, has been appointed to control the final.