While many have suffered hardship this year, for some, sport has provided a welcome distraction, which is why Auckland aren't charging for tickets to the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership final at Eden Park on Saturday.
As the highest-seeded team in the final, Auckland will play host to the Tasman Mako, looking to dethrone the reigning champions.
Auckland coach Alama Ieremia said the free entry to the final was a way for his team to give back to the community.
"We certainly want to make sure this team gives back," Ieremia said. "The value of this team was really inspiring our community. It will be a very emotional week for a lot of the players because everyone's had a different story around their families, around club rugby, around friends that have been affected by Covid-19.
"We've all got our own stories, so I'd like to think that the team will probably repay a lot of that faith and support to make us do what we do. Hopefully we can say thanks to whoever turns up. For us to be there in the first place, there's probably a little more emotion around it.
"I'm very proud of the team and a lot of people behind the scenes; a lot unseen has gone on to achieve what we've done, and I'd like to think we can finish it on a high."
It's the second time in three seasons that Auckland and Tasman have ended the regular season in the top two spots on the ladder, but the first time the two will contest the final against each other.
In a season full of inconsistent performances, Auckland and Tasman have been the two more reliable sides and their vastly superior points differentials to the rest of the league display that.
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However, Auckland have somewhat stumbled into the final, sneaking past Championship side Northland before dropping their final round robin match against a struggling Canterbury side, albeit having rested some key players. In their semifinal against Waikato, it was another less than convincing performance, but enough to secure a tight victory.
It's been a similar story for Tasman, who were trounced 29-0 by Canterbury before sneaking past Otago in their final two round robin matches, before seeing off Bay of Plenty in the semifinal to set up a final showdown which will crown a deserving winner.
Auckland: Zarn Sullivan, AJ Lam, Tumua Manu, Tanielu Tele'a, Salesi Rayasi, Harry Plummer, Jonathan Ruru, Sione Tuipulotu, Niko Jones, Adrian Choat, Jack Whetton, Scott Scrafton, Angus Ta'avao (c), Leni Apisai, James Lay.
Reserves: Mike Sosene-Feagai, Jarred Adams, Marcel Renata, Hamish Dalzell, Presley Tufuga, Taufa Funaki, Simon Hickey, Jordan Trainor.
Tasman: David Havili, Mark Telea, Fetuli Paea, Tim O'Malley, Leicester Fainga'anuku, Mitch Hunt, Finlay Christie, Taina Fox-Matamua, Sione Havili, Hugh Renton, Quinten Strange, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Samuel Matenga, Quentin MacDonald, Isi Tuungafasi.
Reserves: Samiuela Moli, Ryan Coxon, Isaac Salmon, Isaac Ross, Anton Segner, Dwayne Polataivao, Kieron Fonotia, Tim Fainga'anuku