Three second-half tries from Manawatu helped secure what was ultimately an emphatic 31-17 victory against North Harbour at the FMG Stadium on Saturday.
Two of those tries were scored by flank Callum Gibbins, while winger Newton Tudreu crossed the whitewash for the third. With just three minutes remaining in the first stanza, the home team had actually been trailing by ten points.
However, a try from Fraser Stone just before the half-time intermission kept Manawatu in the contest and sparked a memorable and gutsy revival.
The yellow card recieved by Alex Woonton midway through the second stanza did not help the visiting team's cause either and the two earlier tries by Matt McGahan and Josh Rowland ultimately counted for very little.
Fly-half Otere Black was prolific with the boot on Saturday, slotting four conversions and a penalty, which hit the final nail into the North Harbour coffin. The win has enhanced Manawatu's prospects of surviving relegation.
The result also means that North Harbour are languishing at sixth position in the Championship standings, which is dissappointing because they had the ascendency at critical periods during this relegation scrap.
The McGahan try, in particular, was one to behold, as he capitilased on a flowing backline move which had been set up by his teammates earlier.
Tries: Stone, Gibbins 2, Tudreu
Con: Black 4
For North Harbour:
Tries: Rowland, McGahan
Con: Hall 2
Manawatu: 15 Ambrose Curtis,14 Newton Tudreu, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Hamish Northcott, 11 Nathan Tudreu, 10 Otere Black, 9 Toby Morland, 8 Brice Henderson, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Heiden Bedwell, 5 Tom Parsons, 4 Fraser Stone, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Rob Foreman, 1 Fraser Armstrong.
Replacements: 16 Nick Grogan, 17 Adrian Barone, 18 Tim Cadwallader, 19 Tom Hughes, 20 Antonio Kirikiri, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Sam Malcolm, 23 Jaxon Tagavaitau.
North Harbour: 15 Josh Rowland, 14 Nafi Tuitavake, 13 Pita Ahki, 12 Michael Little, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Matt McGahan, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Christopher Vui, 7 Josh Blucher, 6 James Doyle, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Gerard Tuioti-Mariner, 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 James Parsons, 1 Nic Mayhew.
Replacements: 16 Ray Niuia, 17 Alex Woonton, 18 George Tuinukuafe, 19 Brandon Nansen, 20 Jordan Manihera, 21 David Bason, 22 Matt Vaega, 23 Junior Va'a Tofa.
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe