Young talent kicked off the Katherine Rugby Union's Waitangi Day, the national day of New Zealand, over the weekend as spectators lined their camp chairs as close to the action as possible.
Skills and drills preceded their game as the union works to foster numbers in a once faltering sport.
But if player numbers and the audience there to see them was anything to go by, rugby is well and truly seeing a revival, secretary of the Katherine Rugby Union, Sharon Jennings said.
The overcast Saturday afternoon kept the scorching heat at bay as the ladies played a "very entertaining" game of Rugby Sevens - a quick-paced, 14 minute game previously only played by men in Katherine, but now said to be the main driver in pulling in the players.
The much anticipated main event saw the Old Blacks take on the The Wannabes in a match of friendly rivalry.
It was a home turf game for the Katherine Rucking Roos who took on the Darwin University Pirates, which ultimately saw a 12-all draw.
But it wasn't about scores, "rugby was the real winner on the day," Ms Jennings said, as Katherine showed its full support.
The day was a special victory particularly for Ms Jennings who was recently named 2020 Young Citizen of the Year for her dedication to keeping sport - especially rugby - alive in Katherine.
"It was a great day, a lot of fun had by all with great numbers for juniors starting the day off," she said.
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