Bay of Plenty moved eight points clear at the ITM Cup summit on Tuesday after claiming a 36-8 victory over Waikato in Rotorua.
Bay of Plenty moved eight points clear at the ITM Cup summit on Tuesday after claiming a 36-8 win over Waikato.
Sean Horan's men remain the only unbeaten side in the top flight and were a level up from their opponents, scoring four tries in the process.
Next up for the Steamers is a home fixture against third-placed Auckland on Saturday while Waikato will face second-tier Tasman outfit on Friday.
Temperatures at Rotorua International Stadium were chilly to say the least but BoP showed the rugged edge necessary to come away victorious.
Fly-half Dan Waenga kicked sixteen points while Toby Arnold crossed for two tries in a strong performance from full-back. His first score came following good work from Ben Smith, who drew the last defender to send over his number fifteen.
Trent Renata responded on 24 minutes from the tee but Waenga hit back with two three-pointers of his own before Lelia Masaga went in and then set up a score for Arnold's brace.
Arnold almost crossed for his hat-trick soon after but instead turned provider as Sam Cane helped hooker John Pareanga get his name on the scoresheet.
Taniela Moa went over later on while Toby Lynn crossed for a consolation for Waikato.
For Bay of Plenty:
Tries: Arnold 2, Pareanga, Moa
Cons: Waenga, Noakes
Pens: Waenga 4
Bay of Plenty: 15 Toby Arnold, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Phil Burleigh, 12 Steve Kefu, 11 Ben W Smith, 10 Daniel Waenga, 9 Jamie Nutbrown, 8 Colin Bourke (c), 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Luke Andrews, 5 Culum Retallick, 4 Leon Power, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Daniel Perrin, 1 Tristan Moran.
Replacements: 16 John Pareanga, 17 Pingi Tala'apitanga, 18 Sam Cane, 19 Luke Braid, 20 Taniela Moa, 21 Chris Noakes, 22 Lance MacDonald/Nick McCashin, 23 Bronson Murray.
Waikato: 15 Tim Mikkelson, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Rena Schuster, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Trent Renata, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Alex Bradley, 7 Zak Hohneck, 6 Jack Lam, 5 Toby Lynn, 4 Chris Middleton, 3 Nathan White, 2 Aled de Malmanche, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Marcel Cummings-Toone, 17 Toby Smith, 18 Romana Graham, 19 Matt Vant Leven, 20 Malcolm Barnes, 21 Sam Christie, 22 Save Tokula, 21 Latu Talakai.
Referee: Mike Fraser