Te Puke have opened their 2019 Baywide premier rugby season just as they ended last year's - with a win over Te Puna.
The Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Club Rugby season opened on Saturday and week one can be a coach's nightmare as rusty or new structures clunk into gear.
But the defending champs scored six tries at Te Puna's Maratanga Park to take a comfortable 41-15 win over last year's runners-up.
Te Puke coach Matt Wallis says theirs was a typical first game of the season.
"There was a bit of unstructured chaos and there are definitely parts of our game that need a lot of work," Wallis says.
"It was a team effort, but our backs really put their hand up and there was a lot of intent out there. It is something you always want to get out of your players. You want them to show good attitude and commitment."
Te Puna only kicked three points in the first half and also copped a high penalty count, with coach Aidan Kuka referring to the result as a reality check.
"We were not in the game," Kuka says.
"They scored first and second and the game was sewn up by halftime. They put us under a lot of pressure."
With a long road ahead, Wallis says it is important to make sure his side works through the processes.
"It is tough at the start of the year. You can start fast but you have to work and let it evolve. We will be trying to tidy up little areas as this time of year is about getting better," Wallis says.
"We put a bit of time into conditioning and what we tried to implement in the pre-season was there at times. It is really getting the guys back into the groove."
The competition will split in eight weeks and the top eight will remain in the top level and Wallis says that is the first priority.
"We don't talk about winning last year and we want to put ourselves in a position to compete at the end of the year. If you look too far ahead you will probably trip up. We just worry about ourselves at the moment, we went into Saturday knowing we are up against tough opposition. But you focus on your own team performance and put all your energy into that."
Kuka says Te Puke are carrying on the form they ended with last year.
"They are the team to beat. It didn't go too well for us and we just got out-muscled. They made everything a contest and then won most of them."
Te Puna says his side need improvements to make the top eight.
"I want us to be more physical, win the collisions and play with more front foot ball. The big work on for us is to work on our discipline and we also need to put ourselves under more pressure at trainings, so we can deal with those situations."
Next week Te Puke will face Tauranga Sports and Te Puna will come up against Mount.
Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Club Rugby results:
Ōpōtiki 7 v Mount Maunganui 53
Te Puna 15 vs Te Puke 41
Arataki 27 vs Tauranga Sports 30
Greerton Marist 22 vs Rangiuru 22
Rotoiti 7 vs Rangataua 42
Te Teko 21 vs Whakarewarewa 54
Baywide Premier Development:
Ōpōtiki 26 vs Mount Maunganui 22
Te Puna 30 vs Te Puke 27
Tauranga Sports 36 vs Arataki 13
Rangiuru 43 vs Greerton Marist 21
Rotoiti v Rangataua (Rangataua win by default)
Whakarewarewa 31 vs Te Teko 7
Baywide Division 1:
Ruatoki 29 vs Poroporo 3
Whakatāne Marist 37 vs Papamoa 21
Paroa 15 vs Judea 12
Kahukura 31 vs Murupara 14
Waikite 34 vs Reporoa 10
Marist St Michael's 8 v Ngongotaha 12