A huge week for rugby league in South Auckland was iced when the Papakura Sea Eagles claimed Auckland's Fox Memorial Shield for the first time after a hard-fought 12-8 victory over defending champion Point Chevalier in Saturday's grand final at Mount Smart Stadium.
It gave Papakura the double after the Papakura Sisters had earlier beaten the Manurewa Marlins Wahine 34-26 in the women's grand final while Southern Cross Campus had created history on Friday by beating Kelston Boys' High School in the final at the National Secondary Schools Tournament.
Papakura scored in the opening minutes in the Fox grand final when wing George Edwards crossed on the left edge.
An unsuccessful conversion left the score 4-0 to the Sea Eagles.
In a game fought largely in the middle of the park, ball control looked to be frustrating the Pirates.
With six minutes remaining in the first half Papakura halfback Reece Joyce slotted a penalty for a 6-0 lead at the break.
The second period saw Papakura display some excellent resolve to work its way down field before centre Andrew Tusiane crossed to get the Sea Eagles up 10-0.
Finally holding onto the ball and building some pressure, Pt Chevalier lock Dylan Moses proved a game changer, crashing over from close range to score.
With the kick going out wide, the Pirates trailled 10-4.
Some gritty defence and a big carry from Pt Chevalier prop Siliga Kepaoa saw the side just metres out from the line.
Shifting the ball quickly to the left in an attempt to score again, Papakura's Hifo busted through before being stopped by fullback Siua Otunuku.
Into the final 10 minutes and only metres from the line, another penalty gave the Sea Eagles an extra two to lead 12-4.
But Pt Chevalier wasn't done yet.
With two minutes left on the clock, the Pirates crossed on the left edge where wing Saula Solomona finished.
Pt Chevalier was unsuccessful in converting but with under a minute remaining, the Sea Eagles had done enough to claim the 2016 SAS Fox Memorial title.
"I'm lost for words," said Papakura captain Roman Hifo.
"I've been at the club for eight years now. It's taken me this long but it's something we've been working hard for.
"We started with the Sportsafe ARL Nines in Whitianga and knew if we put the work in we could get the job done.
"We finally did it," he quipped.
The win coupled with the women's side claiming its championship title in the earlier game has created history for both the Papakura Rugby League Club and Auckland Rugby League; the Sea Eagles winning their first Fox Memorial title but also, the first club to win both the men's and women's premiership in the same season.
"The club is in a really good place right now," said Hifo.
"The directors, chairman and everyone behind the scenes - they've put in so much time and effort into building this club.
"They’ve done a great job and I take my hat off to them."
Match details | Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Papakura 12 (George Edwards, Andrew Tusiane tries; Reece Joyce 2 penalties).
Pt Chevalier 8 (Dylan Moses, Saula Solomona tries).
Halftime: 6-0 Papakura.