Bay of Plenty Steamers still remember what it was like being young and looking up to their rugby heroes.

Now, less than a week after the victory, young fans are looking to them.

On Friday, the Steamers rugby team scored a 12-7 win over Hawke's Bay in the Mitre 10 Cup Championship final.

Today , they took their celebrations to the Rotorua community at Our House on Eat Streat, playing Jenga with children, and signing shirts, posters and balls.

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Children eagerly retold the story of the tense, final minutes of the match, and the excitement they felt when they cheered with the rest of the stadium.

Frazer Hazeldine, 10, had been to the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals and called the team "Champions".

Brothers Frazer Hazeldine (left), Alexander and Robbie are stoked to join their heroes after their victory. Photo / Ben Fraser
Brothers Frazer Hazeldine (left), Alexander and Robbie are stoked to join their heroes after their victory. Photo / Ben Fraser

For Steamers players Leroy Carter and Jason Robertson, the encounter with fans was surreal.

"We're still buzzing, it was a pretty cool experience," Carter said.

"When I was a little kid I was looking up to people playing in the Steamers ... to be able to be someone that's looked up to is pretty cool."

Robertson said the win, the first in a long time, was something to be proud of.

After living and breathing the game, Robertson was excited to see people he hadn't seen in a while before starting up training again before Christmas.

Our House duty manager Hapeta Manly said the players needed to be celebrated.

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"We're the champions, we should be celebrating the boys."

Steamer Jeff Thwaits described the final as an absolute grind but said coming out and meeting the fans was a great sign-off to the season, "especially for those who have been with us through years where we haven't been so successful".

"I want to say thanks to the fans who are always right behind us, or who come up for a chat on the street. It's part of the reason we do what we do."

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"It is about the people."

This is how Steamers head coach Clayton McMillan responded to people gathering for the Bay of Plenty Rugby team's trophy tours.

Fans were at the centre of the players' thoughts after they had supported the team week in and week out. Photo / Getty Images
Fans were at the centre of the players' thoughts after they had supported the team week in and week out. Photo / Getty Images

"The boys have had fun all year, and this is not about us," McMillan said.

"When you are in a privileged position to be able to represent your province it is important to acknowledge those people who turn up on the rugby field with you week in week out," McMillan said.