Counties Manukau returned to their winning ways in the ITM Cup when they beat Northland 42-17 in Whangarei on Saturday.
Tana Umaga's charges exploited a numerical advantage they enjoyed for ten minutes which helped them secure only their second victory of the campaign.
Joshua Goodhue was sent to the sin bin in the 15th minute of the fixture, which undid most of the good work Northland had done during the opening exchanges.
Daniel Hawkins opened his team's account with a penalty in the sixth minute and added three more points shortly after that.
At the time the infraction was committed Northland had established the early lead. Alas, it was a lead that they would not managed to regain for the remainder of the match. While Hawkins continued to contribute with the boot for the remainder of the first stanza, the visitors were scoring tries.
First to cross the whitewash for Counties Manukau was Cardiff Vaega. However, the man who would ultimately steal the limelight during this fixture was Jordan Taufua, who managed a brace before the half-time intermission.
Manukau enjoyed a comfortable advantage at the break and implemented several changes during the second stanza, without losing any significant momentum. The team's cause was helped when Viliame Rarasea dotted down in the 60th minute, before Frank Halai shut the door on the home team with five minutes to play.
Pens: Hawkins 4
For Counties Manukau:
Tries: Vaega, Taufua 2, Rarasea, Halai
Cons: Francis 2, Walker 2
Pens: Francis 3
Northland: 15 Matt Wright, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Dave Thomas, 12 Troy Gilbert, 11 Jone Macilai-Tori, 10 Daniel Hawkins, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Dan Pryor, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Jaycob Matiu, 5 Mike Stolberg, 4 Joshua Goodhue, 3 Namatahi Waa, 2 Matt Moulds, 1 Howard Silioto
Replacements:16 Jordan Olsen, 17 Ross Wright, 18 Matt Talaese, 19 Sean Sweetman, 20 Taniela Manu, 21 Kurt Davies, 22 Waisea Lawebuka, 23 Filipo Nakosi
Counties Manukau: 15 Toni Pulu, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Cardiff Vaega, 12 Jonathan Faauli, 11 Sam Vaka, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Richard Judd, 8 Maama Vaipulu, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Viliame Rarasea, 4 Sikeli Nabou, 3 Sam Aiono, 2 Gafatasi Su'a, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Replacements:16 Michael Lea, 17 Sean Bagshaw, 18 John Tu'ungafasi, 19 Harry Fitzsimons, 20 Daniel Hyatt, 21 Pete Cowley, 22 Willie Walker, 23 Sione Fifta
Referee: Liam Scanlon