Local bragging rights and the Tai Mitchell Shield are up for grabs when Ngongotaha travel to Rotoiti.

It is a game which both sides would have circled in their calendars when the draw was released and newly promoted Ngongotaha will have their work cut out for them tomorrow against a Rotoiti side unbeaten at home in 2017.

Rotoiti have held the Tai Mitchell Shield since taking it from Whakarewarewa in May last year. They successfully defended it against Whakarewarewa in last season's Premier 1 round-robin and against Ngongotaha in the Rotorua Banner final in March this year.

Rotoiti were convincing 44-10 winners in the Banner final, however coach Richard Francis expected an improved performance from Ngongotaha this weekend.


"They've been up in the prems for a few weeks now, we beat them in the Banner final so they'll be hissing for revenge and they're coming off a heavy loss, so we respect the opposition. I've seen a couple of their results, they've obviously improved.

"There's a lot of incentive, the shield on the line and it's a home game. We love these local derbies, I can't even remember the last time our two premier sides played out in Rotoiti. We're really looking forward to hosting Ngongotaha," Francis said.

Rotoiti have had a mixed start to the season, they drew 24-all with Te Puna and beat Greerton 29-12 before suffering a shock 58-15 loss to Tauranga Sports last week. They are seventh on the table.

"The boys always bounce back from a loss, they come back with an enthusiasm to get back on track. That's the character of our club.

"They just need to trust in their processes and what we've been doing well. Against Tauranga we went away from what we've been doing well so hopefully we can put it all back into place and get back on track again," he said.

Ngongotaha started the season with a 26-20 win over Arataki before suffering 28-19 and 62-7 losses to Rangataua and Te Puke respectively. They are 10th on the table.

Ngongotaha club president Rob Beckett said the team were "fully aware" of the challenge facing them this weekend.

"We played Rotoiti in the Banner final and we're well aware of the task ahead of us because of the level of rugby played in the premiers, it's vastly different from Division One.


"There are quite a few lessons our team learned from that encounter and we hope to sort any issues out from that game for this one on Saturday. We definitely have to show Rotoiti a lot of respect because they've been in the premiers for quite a few years now and they've played in the final.

"We just have to go out and ensure, on defence and attack, we commit ourselves for the full 80 minutes," Beckett said.

Meanwhile Whakarewarewa, who are fifth on the table, travel to Rangataua who are fourth.

In Division 1 Marist St Michael's play Papamoa at home, Kahukura play Opotiki at home and Waikite travel to Judea.

Baywide Premier Club Rugby Draw
Premier kick-off: 2.45pm
Development kick-off: 1pm
Te Puke Sports v Whakatane Marist at Murray Salt Stadium
Rangataua v Whakarewarewa at Te Ariki Park
Rotoiti v Ngongotaha at Emery Park
Te Puna v Greerton Marist at Maramatanga Park
Paroa v Tauranga Sports at Lawson Park
Arataki v Mount Maunganui Sports at Arataki Park

Baywide Division One Draw
Kick-off: 2.45pm
Ruatoki v Murupara at Tuhoe Park
Te Teko v Rangiuru at Dunderdale Park
Marist St Michael's v Papamoa at Marist Park
Kahukura v Opotiki at Kuirau Park
Judea v Waikite at Maharaia Winiata Memorial Park
Waimana v Poroporo at Waimana Domain