By all accounts Napier City Rovers were supposed to win the much-anticipated derby against the Havelock North Wanderers and they did, resoundingly, yesterday.
The Thirsty Whale-sponsored Blues did it in style, albeit sporting black-and-white strips, to the tune of 6-1 in the Ultra Football Central League match where the bolshy Blues brigade sang and chanted like Guthrie Park was their piece of prime real estate in the village.
"We're the Rovers, the mighty Rovers, we always win away," the Blues faithful sang after the visitors led 4-1 at halftime.
It was pointless arguing the assertion although it remains to be seen if they will win everything away after defending champions Western Suburbs pipped them at Bluewater Stadium, Park Island, in round four on April 22.
That aside, the Blues are leaders of the premier winter league for a reason.
The home fans' disappointment was conspicuous in their silence and, equally pertinent to know, there's a reason why the Building King-sponsored side are at the bottom of the table — the villagers are newbies who got an 11th-hour invite after Team Taranaki withdrew.
Their preoccupation is to make the cut in the league but, it seems, another upset victory at home, akin to the one against Wairarapa United, will have to wait.
Perhaps the other important factor to emerge from yesterday's one-sided battle was the robust crowd who turned out to watch the encounter despite everything pointing to a Blues victory.
Rovers player/coach Bill Robertson said they were mindful the Wanderers were going to be a threat after the inclusion of their two Solomon Island imports, Gagame Feni and Ian Paia, and the pair had shown how much problem they could cause on the park.
"I was disappointed to go two goals up and then kind of let them back in with that goal," lamented Robertson after Karan Mandair and Martin Buenos found the net in the fifth and seventh minutes, respectively, before some Feni magic saw Jared Bloor put a ball through to winger Liam Shackleton to pull it back 2-1 in the 10th minute.
However, in the context of the game he felt his troops were dominant and thoroughly deserved their three points after streaking to a 4-1 lead at halftime.
Centre midfielder Sho Goto claimed a hat-trick of goals (30th, 43rd and 51st minutes) before he was subbed in the 62nd minute for Drew Matthews.
Striker Martin Bueno claimed a brace, adding one more in the 65th minute to take his tally to seven goals, one more than Goto.
However, the Uruguayan needs to work on his grounding, staying upright in challenges for a man of his stature rather than sinking to the ground amid howls of protest to referees.
It's often perceived, rightly or wrongly, as theatrics commonly found on the South American stages, and, should he come across the wrong whistle blower, could easily be collecting a yellow card instead.
That is not to say the Wanderers defenders had quickly worked him out and had proceeded to needle him.
Robertson alluded to that: "They were well organised and got behind the ball. They tried to make things difficult and got physical.
"Our No 9 [Bueno] up front was being kicked and whatever else but he handled himself really well."
He felt his men had done their homework to put on a professional performance to claim the points.
"We had some fantastic support from one of our main supporters, Thirsty Whale, and we had a meal there this morning and came on a bus they supplied for the game so it was good to see that here and it was a great day for football in Hawke's Bay, as well as to see so many people here for a derby at Central League level," he said, adding the change in away strip colours was a quest for something different and not clash with other teams' colours.
Goto got the Blues' fans vote for man of the match but English left back Liam Schofield also had a blinder in cutting a path up his flank to create scoring opportunities.
Bloor said Blues "are a decent side and we always knew they were going to be tough".
The 30-year-old tiler said had Paia pulled it back to 2-all in the 21st minute it could have been a different story.
"But, I think, their class took over as they are a decent side and that's why they are on the top of the league [table]."
Bloor emphasised the Ethan Dent-captained Wanderers were young so a couple of seasoned heads like himself were trying to help them find a niche in the league.
"That's the big thing for us — try to pick the points when we can."