After four consecutive losses to start their season, Pioneer have rallied together to lift the Gerald Dermody Trophy.
On Saturday, they defeated Drummond Limehills Star (DLS) 49-15 in the division one bottom-four final.
Pioneer coach Jason Smith said the team put in a great shift.
‘‘I was happy with the way the boys played and when our reserves came on they certainly lifted it up a notch which helped,’’ Smith said.
The bench had a lot of experience, he said.
Pioneer scored one penalty kick and eight tries, three of which were converted.
‘‘We probably could’ve scored a few more. When we were over the line guys didn’t put the ball down [but] that’s fine.’’
Pioneer dominated from kickoff but DLS put up a fight, he said.
‘‘They did carry well. They were making some good inroads with their carries as we thought they would.
‘‘Our lineouts and scrums were strong and our boys looked for space and [kicked] the ball in behind them.’’
Playing for territory was a game plan the team talked about during their preparation, he said.
DLS were low on players for the game due to injuries and other factors.
‘‘I take my hat off to DLS.’’
Pioneer celebrated the victory accordingly.
‘‘They were definitely elated — they were pretty happy.’’ ‘
‘They partied pretty hard. . .they’ll be some pretty tired boys at work today.’’
This was the team’s first trophy for several seasons.
‘‘It’s good for the club to actually put something in the trophy cabinet. We’ve been chipping away for a number of years.’’ Smith would look to build on this season next year when he returns as coach.
In the President’s Cup final Waikaka beat Waikaia 17-10.