Robbie Brigham isn't about to forget this summer in a hurry. That's because it has been a bumper season for the Big Barrel Napier Technical Old Boys cricketer.

"It's been an exciting season coming into the [playoffs] so the boys are pretty established now and it's an opportunity to win a title for Hawke's Bay," says the 18-year-old.

The Dale Smidt-coached Texans compete in the final stage of qualifying for the national premier men's club championship at Palmerston North this weekend.

"It'll be history for the club because it'll be the sixth title for the club if we win it," says Brigham, who is in his maiden season of Bay premier men's club cricket and is giving himself the licence to let his mind wander at the thought of winning tomorrow to book a berth at the nationals in Auckland in March.


"I just want to represent the club with pride because we're a pretty established club and we enjoy winning."

NTOB beat Burger King Red Star CC by 119 runs last weekend to earn the right to progress to the playoff tourney this weekend.

A left-arm seamer, Brigham (2-26) had joined fellow bowlers Stevie Smidt (2-16), Jeremy Kuru (2-30), and Angus Philpott (2-23) to collectively keep their foot at the throats of the opposition.

The former Napier Boys' High School pupil needs only to look at the more seasoned campaigners in his side, such as Kuru, Smidt, Liam Rukuwai and Indika Senarathne, to realise the team are wicket savvy and mentally psyched for the tourney.

"A few of the boys have gone there before ... so it adds a little bit of motivation. All the boys have been preparing pretty hard for it so we just can't wait to get down there and get stuck into it," he says before hitting the highway to the other side of the Manawatu Gorge.

The Bay qualifiers, national club champions several years ago, will face the might of New Plymouth Marist United, the top team from Palmerston North and another from Marlborough.

NTOB play New Plymouth Marist first up and will be mindful they dashed their dreams in 2015.

Brigham is adept at bowling anywhere, including shining the new ball, but tends to come in at first change because of the depth and experience in the Bay region's perennially top premier men's club.


"Obviously the senior boys are Liam Rukuwai and Stevie Smidt, who've been doing most of the bowling at the top so I usually slot in at first drop but I can bowl wherever.

"Being the youngest player in the team I do whatever I'm told so that's the way it goes."

Brigham generally swings the ball into right-handed batsmen but also mixes in deliveries that move away as well.

The Otago University-bound player took a six-wicket bag against Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall this summer.

"I haven't set the world alight but I've done the job."

Backyard cricket with his father, Rob Brigham snr, spurred him into Harry Findlay's juniors team before the Tamatea Intermediate pupil took it more seriously in three years of NBHS First XI play.

He has played three games for Bay senior men and represented Central Districts Under-19 team at the nationals as well as warm-up games against Afghanistan and India before the ICC U19 World Cup staged in the country.

The aspiring commerce degree student enjoys the physical and mental challenge cricket offers.

"You know, really kind of trying to work a batsman out. I guess, that's probably the biggest side I enjoy - the mental side where keeping you out in the heat for hours takes it out of you."

Brigham was a promising flanker and second five-eighths for Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports Club but he gave it up in year 12.

"I just had too many concussions," he says.

He is hoping coach Dale Smidt will jet him back from Dunedin if NTOB make the nationals.

"But I'm sure the boys will be fizzed up enough to get the job done," he says, sharing the disappointment of missing out on a Hawke Cup challenge against new holders Counties after Manawatu denied the Bay senior men maximum points to pave the way for Taranaki.

However, the teenager it'll only provide added motivation to the seniors to get the job done next summer.