One of Hawke's Bay's smallest rugby clubs will take centre stage on the first night of the Hawke's Bay Rugby Union's first club finals weekend.
And they got there via a 49-46 win in what could be one of the greatest comebacks in world rugby history.
Down 43-7 at halftime in their Senior Division 1 semifinal against Napier rivals Old Boys Marist, it looked like the season was over for Dannevirke club Aotea.
At half time, Aotea coach Carl Withey conceded the score "wasn't a coach's delight" for the home side at Rugby Park in Dannevirke.
But he had faith - the team had traversed the comeback trail before, when they came back to beat Central in a Division 2 final in 2020.
Withey kept his instruction to "the boys" at halftime simple.
"If we get some ball, we're in with a chance''.
After two tries in the opening stanza of the second half, "43-21 was a bit more respectable", says Withey.
But they needed the ball.
And with 30 minutes to go, Napier OBM obliged by repeatedly kicking the ball deep to Aotea.
But Withey still shakes his head after the dramatic end which included three tries in as many minutes, and six converted tries in 28 minutes.
Aotea team manager and club captain Bryan Te Huki reckons he'll probably spend the rest of the winter trying to "get my head around" how last Saturday's win was achieved.
Te Huki says it came down to the on-field leadership of Tama-Sean Petera and Jacob Stephenson, and the confidence that if Aotea could indeed get the ball, they had a chance.
Many on the sidelines had thought their team's season was at an end, but, in the words of stalwart Mavis Mullins they were "staying on to be loyal".
Withey didn't have too much sympathy for OBM's demise, saying they were "already celebrating" with 30 minutes to go.
Their tactic of trying to keep Aotea out by kicking deep into Aotea territory only had the effect of giving Aotea the possession it so yearned.
The team has come a long way in two years, since ending a run of 10 consecutive losses and starting a run of 20 consecutive victories.
Aotea's comeback could be unequalled in world rugby.
Websites World Rugby and Rugby Pass have published accounts of some of the great comebacks in international and top championships such as Super Rugby and the UK Premiership.
But none comes close to Aotea's six converted tries in the second half.
The biggest in "Tier 1" was the 24 points by which Australia trailed Argentina three years ago before winning 45-34.
In Dannevirke, what is most special is that the team dug-in to achieve their long-held goal of winning this Friday's night's final, and being the first name on the new Hepa Paewai Memorial Trophy.
Paewai was one of the club's star products in the 1960s and also played for Aotea's final opponent Havelock North.
The win also guaranteed Aotea's promotion to the Premier competition for 2022.
Withey is in his final year of coaching and keen to put the future in younger hands.
Aotea last played Premier rugby in 2006, and Withey says "why wouldn't you take the opportunity"?
The finals weekend at Napier's McLean Park starts on Friday night, with the 5.30pm Division 3 final between Clive and Taradale, followed by the 7.10pm Aotea-Havelock North match.
Three games will be played on Saturday, with MAC and Waipawa Country United in the Senior Division 2 final starting at 11.20am, followed by the Colts final between Taradale and Waipukurau side Central at 1pm.
The Premier final for the acclaimed Maddison Trophy, between Taradale and Hastings Rugby and Sports, kicks off at 3pm.
Uniquely, three of the 10 finalists are from central or southern Hawke's Bay and Taradale, with three on show, is the only club with two or more teams chasing the silverware.