With Te Puna and Tauranga Sports sitting first and second on the table respectively going into their matchup at the Tauranga Domain on Saturday, many were expecting a close game.
However, that was far from the way things panned out as Te Puna produced one of their best performances of the season to win 58-12 and announce themselves as the team to beat going into the semifinals.
Both sides were far enough ahead at the top of the table to have home semifinals secured regardless of the result but Te Puna's win means they finish the round robin on top of the table and take plenty of confidence into the knockout stages.
The early stages of Saturday's game were hard fought and while it was fairly even, Te Puna brought great physicality. They kicked a penalty and scored a try through fullback Rewita Biddle to lead 8-0.
Te Puna kicked another penalty but tries to Tauranga Sports hooker Muks Toitoi and flanker Haydn Reardon saw them take a slim 12-11 win.
With only a few minutes left before the break it looked as if Tauranga would take the lead into the sheds but Te Puna rallied to score two quick tries and lead 23-12 at halftime.
In the second half, the floodgates opened as Te Puna, who have made a habit of finishing games strongly this season, held Tauranga scoreless and ran in five tries to cruise to a 58-12 victory.
Biddle scored his second and third tries, one a length of the field intercept, to complete his second hatrick in as many weeks while halfback Te Aihe Toma came off the bench to score a quick fire hat-trick as well.
We were pretty clinical today and put points on the board when we were at the right end of the field.
Te Puna coach Aidan Kuka described the win as "pretty comprehensive in the end".
"I'm really, really happy with how the boys went out and performed today. I think we just won a lot of the contestable moments, we won't be happy with our lineout but the other phases of the game we really controlled.
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"We were pretty clinical today and put points on the board when we were at the right end of the field. It has been a strength of ours, finishing the game quite strong, but we knew that Tauranga have been doing the same. Our bench today came on and really made an impact."
If the blue and black army can go all the way this season it will be a real fairytale story. Established in 1919, the club celebrates its centenary this year and the Premier side were runners-up to Te Puke in last year's final.
Kuka said playing the semifinal at home was a big advantage.
"It's huge, it's our 100th year. Five years ago we sat down and we spoke about can it happen. Today we're one step closer and we find ourselves with a home semi next week.
"[The centenary] sits in the background every game we play, it's something we always elude back to. These boys are just playing for one another and they really have the belief, the trust and the confidence now within the group."
The win was a fitting end to a glorious day for Te Puna as they came from behind to beat Matakana 26-25 in the Baywide Senior Reserves final and their development team beat Tauranga Sports 26-0.
Tauranga coach John Dodd said it was a game of opportunities and Te Puna took theirs.
"Early on, they disrupted our ball quite well and we couldn't get a flow on. Credit to them, they played a lot better than us today.
"We know we can play a lot better than that, we didn't fire many shots today, so we need to just nail our set piece and play how we have been the last few weeks going into the semifinal."
The other semifinalists are Te Puke and Greerton who beat Rangiuru and Rangataua respectively.
Baywide Rugby Results
Tauranga Sports 12 Te Puna 58, Te Puke Sports 31 Rangiuru 10, Greerton Marist 53 Rangataua 17, Mount Maunganui Sports 32 Whakarewarewa 31.
Premier 1 Development:
Tauranga Sports 0 Te Puna 26, Te Puke Sports 80 Rangiuru 12, Greerton Marist 19 Rangataua 24, Mount Maunganui Sports 40 Whakarewarewa 21.
Ruatoki 19 Kahukura 32, Marist St Michael's 22 Te Teko 22, Arataki 61 Waikite 14, Ngongotahā 48 Ōpōtiki 20.
Premier 2 Development:
Ruatoki 42 Kahukura 14, Marist St Michael's 12 Te Teko 24, Arataki 37 Waikite 38, Ngongotahā 48 Ōpōtiki 7.
Reporoa 15 Whakatāne Marist 14, Judea 50 Rotoiti 0, Murupara 24 Paroa 10, Poroporo 52 Pāpāmoa 26.
Waimana 12 Edgecumbe 32.
Senior Reserves Final:
Matakana 25 Te Puna 26.