Defending champions Tamatea Arikinui and former regular playoffs foes Maraenui Phoenix have set up Saturday's feature match in the Hawke's Bay rugby league competition with unbeaten records going into their fourth-round clash.
But it wasn't easy as both sides made it three from three despite each conceding 30 points or more, against sides which ended the day as the only sides yet to register a win in the competition.
At Kirkpatrick Park in Hastings, Tamatea beat Bridge Pa 38-30, while Maraenui conceded seven tries before winning their mates-v-mates clash against new Premier side Pirate Panthers 40-34 at Maraenui Park, Napier.
In the other matches, both also at Kirkpatrick Park, Outkast Sports beat trounced Omahu Huia 50-18 and Flaxmere Falcons beat Tech Seals 27-24 in a keenly-fought match which saw the outcome being disputed after the final whistle.
Tamatea and Phoenix have faced off in three finals in the last 10 years, most recently in 2006, but showed they still have work to do, particularly on defence, to guarantee a new chapter in their tussles for the silverware.
The trio of Haizley Robinson, Colin Hokianga and Mika Mika was again dominant for Tamatea, each scoring three tries, in a game the red-and-black shirts always seemed to have in control, despite the eventual margin of just eight points.
Panthers looked set to score their first competition points after leading Phoenix 20-18 at halftime and tying-it-up at 34-34 with a try four minutes from the final whistle. But Phoenix wing Migao Lauana scored his second try and in the final act brother and standoff Johnny landed the goal, taking him to 54 points in the competition.