All of the blood, sweat and tears, the ups and the downs, the trials and tribulations come down to one winner takes all, 80-minute game of rugby.

Tomorrow, Kahukura travel to Ruatoki to contest the Baywide Division 1 final.

The stage is set for a grand occasion. Kahukura have consistently made semifinals during the past seven years, but this year have finally gone one step further.

They finished second in the round-robin, with five wins and two losses, setting up an epic semifinal against Judea last weekend.


With the score locked at 27-all after the 80 minutes and after 20 minutes of extra time, the winner was decided by the toss of a coin and Kahukura went through. They are desperate to make the most of the opportunity.

Meanwhile, Ruatoki are hosting a final for the first time in their history. They finished the round-robin with a perfect record - seven wins from seven games - before beating Paroa 25-16 in last weekend's semifinal.

Kahukura head coach Brad Savage was excited to be in the final this weekend and said he was hoping the character his team displayed last weekend would shine through again tomorrow.

"Last weekend the boys demonstrated a bit of character and resilience to hang in there, so we are hoping that will come through again this weekend."

Savage identified ball possession as a key focus for his side following what they learned in previous encounters against Ruatoki this year.

"Ball possession for us is going to be the key thing. A couple of trips we have had down there this year we have relinquished the ball fairly easily and have been punished for it.

Kahukura's Ramon Funua stretches to control the ball against Judea in the Baywide Division 1 semifinal. Photo/File
Kahukura's Ramon Funua stretches to control the ball against Judea in the Baywide Division 1 semifinal. Photo/File

"Our team has certainly got a bit of character, as well as a pretty good backline with bit of fire power, so we will be looking to see some of the character come out and that fire power produce the goods, that's what we are after."

The always vocal Kahukura supporters will be right behind the team making the journey to Ruatoki tomorrow.

"At this stage we have been looking at getting a supporters bus as well as our team bus so we will be taking a good contingent down with us," Savage said.

Ruatoki head coach Mark Pouwhare said his side not only worked proficiently individually, but also as a team.

"We've got a great group of boys at the moment who play for each other. We don't rely on one certain player, but everyone has to contribute.

"Composure is the key focus. Not to let the occasion get to them. If all 22 do their job, then we should go well on Saturday."

Hosting the final this weekend is an "amazing opportunity" for the Ruatoki club.

"It's the first time in the club's history that we have hosted finals rugby. Last Saturday's semifinal was great, but this Saturday is going to be something else. To have our whanau share the day with us is special," he said.

Rotorua's other hopes of a title rest with the Ngongotahā development team in the Premier 2 Development final.

They finished top of the table with six wins and a loss before beating Te Teko 23-10 in last weekend's semifinal.

Tomorrow, they host Opōtiki in the final at the Ngongotahā Domain.

Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Finals Draw

Premier 1
(Kickoff 2.45pm)
Te Puke Sports v Te Puna at Murray Salt Stadium

Premier 1 Development
(Kickoff 12.30pm)
Te Puke Sports v Te Puna at Murray Salt Stadium

Premier 2
(Kickoff 2.45pm)
Te Teko v Rangiuru at Dunderdale Park

Premier 2 Development
(Kickoff 1pm)
Ngongotahā v Opōtiki at Ngongotahā Domain

Division 1
(Kickoff 2.45pm)
Ruatoki v Kahukura at Tuhoe Park

Senior Reserves
(Kickoff 12.30pm)
Ruatoki v Te Puna at Tuhoe Park