Whakarewarewa versus Rotoiti is a game both sides circle on the calendar every year.
In terms of intensity and passion, today's match did not disappoint, although it was a little more one-sided than previous occasions as the home side Whakarewarewa cruised to a 55-7 demolition of their local rivals.
Whakarewarewa had all the possession and territory in the opening 10 minutes and led 3-0 after first five Ryubyn Vaipo kicked a penalty.
Minutes later they were in for the opening try on the back of some individual brilliance from fullback Te Wehi Wright who received a Rotoiti kick inside his own 22m before taking off. He showed pure speed to beat multiple defenders before drawing the last man and passing to halfback George Playle who strolled over to score against his old club. Vaipo converted and Whakarewarewa led 10-0.
That was the start of a rampant first half for Whakarewarewa who were in again minutes later after another free-flowing attack. They used the full width of the field to create an overlap on the left for flanker Slade Apo to score his side's second try and make it 15-0.
Then the home side showed they can do it from a set piece too. With a scrum inside the Rotoiti 22m, Whakarewarewa No 8 Doug Edwards took off up the blind side before offloading to Playle who drew the opposition winger to set Mathew Garland away on the outside for a try. Vaipo converted and it was 22-0.
Fullback Wright got in on the act with a try of his own and hooker Jesse Mason-Grant scored from a lineout to give Whakarewarewa a commanding halftime lead of 34-0.
Whakarewarewa kept the foot down in the second half as flanker Andy Noble scored on the back of an all out attack. Twenty minutes into the half Vaipo scored a try of his own, adding to an impressive personal points tally and making the lead 48-0.
With 10 minutes left, Xavier Martel, who came off the bench for Whakarewarewa, cruised through a big gap on the right hand side to crack the half-century. Vaipo converted and the home side led 55-0.
Rotoiti showed the fighting spirit fans have come to expect from them and pushed hard right to the end of the game. They were rewarded with a try to flanker Rhys Hohepa, on the back of a strong run by centre Beau Kiel, right on fulltime to reduce the deficit.
In other Premier matches, Te Puke made a big statement with a 56-17 win over Mount Maunganui in their top of the table clash. Rangiuru continued their high-flying start to the season with a 31-28 win over Arataki. Greerton, Te Teko and Te Puna were also in the winners' circle.
Tauranga Sports 17 Te Puna 38, Rangataua 13 Greerton Marist 27, Te Teko 52 Ōpōtiki 27, Te Puke 56 Mount Maunganui 17, Whakarewarewa 55 Rotoiti 17, Rangiuru 31 Arataki 28.
Tauranga Sports 53 Te Puna 10, Rangataua 26 Greerton Marist 10, Te Teko 26 Ōpōtiki 12, Te Puke 29 Mount Maunganui 13, Whakarewarewa 62 Rotoiti 0, Rangiuru 7 Arataki 24.
Murupara 22 Reporoa 15, Whakatāne Marist 12 Ngongotahā 33, Ruatoki 21 Paroa 14, Marist St Michael's 20 Waikite 24, Kahukura 35 Judea 21, Pāpāmoa 17 Poroporo 34.
Western Bay Senior Reserves:
Tauranga Sports (win by default) vs Judea, Katikati 38 Matakana 21, Greerton Marist vs Te Puna (result not yet received), Eastern Districts - BYE.
Central Bay Senior Reserves:
Marist St Michael's 45 Waikite 5, Eastern Pirates 34 Reporoa 15, Taupō vs Ngongotahā (result not yet received).
Eastern Bay Senior Reserves:
Ruatoki 0 Edgecumbe 15, Matata 24 Galatea/Waiohau 24, Waimana - BYE.