Defending ITM Cup champions Taranaki scored four unanswered second-half tries to beat Bay of Plenty 32-9 at in Rotorua on Saturday.
Bay of Plenty led 6-3 at the end of a high-paced but low-scoring first half, only for Taranaki to take the game by the scruff of the neck after the interval and romp to a bonus-point win.
The result is Naki's third win from six matches and sets up a massive clash Waikato next week in the scrap for a semi-final spot.
A stop-start first-half that saw Mitchell Crosswell sent to the bin for throwing a punch was followed by a much more exciting second period.
Taranaki were rewarded for opting to chase a try rather than take three points from a penalty when a five metre lineout drive put Berny Hall over for the match's first try.
That got the ball rolling and they soon crossed again, this time via Toa Halafihi, as the champions cut loose.
Kurt Baker touched down between the posts to take the scores to 22-9 before the outstanding Seta Tamanivalu crashed over for a bonus-point try.
For Bay of Plenty:
Pens: Hollinshead 3
Tries: Hall, Halafihi, Baker, Tamanivalu
Cons: Rei 3
Pens: Rei 2
Yellow card: Crosswell
Bay of Plenty: 15 Te Rangi Fraser, 14 Whaimotu Craft-Chemis, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Caleb Hall, 11 Chase Tiatia, 10 Dan Hollinshead, 9 Te Aihe Toma, 8 Joe Tupe, 7 Zak Hohneck, 6 Shahn Eru, 5 Culum Retallick (c), 4 Keepa Mewett, 3 Pingi Talaapitaga, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Solomona Sakalia.
Replacements: 16 Joe Royal, 17 Siegfried Fisiihoi, 18 Michael Kainga, 19 Troy Callendar, 20 Sebastian Siataga, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Nick Evemy, 23 Leroy Van Dam.
Taranaki: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Jackson Ormond, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Charlie Ngatai (c), 11 Latu Vaeno, 10 Cody Rei, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Toa Halafihi, 7 Berny Hall, 6 Mitch Crosswell, 5 Blade Thomson, 4 Riki Hoeata, 3 Angus Taavao-Matau, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Mitchell Graham.
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Sione Lea, 18 Ryan Cocker, 19 Mitchell Brown, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 David Ormrod, 22 Liam McBride, 23 Sean Wainui.