Matatū go from wooden-spoon to Super Rugby Aupiki title shot

Twelve months ago, Matatū were Super Rugby Aupiki's wooden spooner's. Now, they've got a shot at taking the title when they play Chiefs Manawa on Saturday afternoon.

When prop Pip Love was asked what it would mean - she said there were "no words" to describe it.

"To come from dead-last last season and then come through and win... ecstatic, special, far I so hope it happens," she said.

In a decision to pay homage to their rugby roots, the squad in their last full training ahead of the final, wore a rugby jersey to remind them of how far they've come.

"It's special to rep Banks Peninsula, my first ever club I played for when I was seven years old," said captain, Alana Bremner.

Other jerseys on show included Kurow Rugby Club, Northland Taniwha, Otago and Canterbury.

It also represents what's most important for this group - culture and identity.

"Culture's massive and it's a word that's thrown around loosely, but we nail it here," said coach, Blair Baxter.

"They're going to go to war for each other, do everything they can to look after their friend on the left and right of them. There's just such a massive desire to win."

However, an Aupiki title won't come easy, up against an unbeaten Chiefs Manawa side.

"Well I guess the pressure's on them," joked Love.

"They've created the standard and the standard to beat, and for us to beat them we'll have to dig deep, play every moment in the game, focus on the moment and be present."

For Bremner, ultimate bragging rights are on the line, as she squares up against her sister Chelsea.

"It was actually pretty special, mum and dad weren't sure if they could make it, so Chels and I booked them flights," she said.

Matatū head north tomorrow, hoping to return with some extra carry-on luggage.