In N Out belied their name to take back-to-back titles in the Display Associates KickStart Rugby competition in Whanganui last Friday.
In the premier open men's final DML Demons, the new boys on the block, deservedly earned their place with an impressive debut season, but in their way were the defending champs In N Out. Finals experience and talent to burn, In N Out just knew how to change up a gear when needed scoring some well-crafted long range tries in the process of winning 13-5.
Unique to Whanganui, the rapid growth of the hybrid game played week-in, week-out through the summer months at the Kaierau Country Club has been nothing short of astounding.
The concept was the brainchild of Kaierau stalwarts Johnny Sula and Darrell Robinson, who manage the summer league.
"Whether it's for fun with the family and friends, or for those who want to be a bit more competitive, its offers something for all," Sula said.
"We were looking for something to provide summer action at the Country Club, so we came up with this. It's a mix of rugby, sevens, touch and tag and Whanganui's own has really appealed to a wide audience.
"It's been going for four years now and we've simply grown from strength to strength. For example, we've gone from one mixed team to having 10 mixed teams this season. We now have 22 teams in total covering three different grades - masters, mixed and open.
"This is Wanganui's own, it's fresh, innovative and increasing in popularity," Sula said.
In the masters section (over 30s) on Friday Orange Ruffies took the title for the third year in a row over top qualifier Gentlemen of Kaierau. These two teams have had great battles over the years and with an 8-5 result, it was another competitive game. Team 7 deservedly took third place.
The mixed grade the final lived up to the hype with Mean Maori Mean facing off against No Limitz Crew.
It was a tight game and fitted a finals billing. Played with intensity, skill and in great spirit, Mean Maori Mean took their first title 4 to 3. Frontrunners all year, they played well all season and held their nerve when needed most. In third place it was 2017 championss Thirstys who had a solid year and were always in the hunt during the competition.
The competition runs from October through to March each year.