Last year's losing ITM Cup finalists Waikato got their revenge by beating defending champions Canterbury 27-13 on Wednesday.
Last year's losing ITM Cup finalists Waikato got their revenge by beating defending champions Canterbury 27-13 at Rugby Park in in Christchurch on Wednesday.
Waikato's bonus-point win enabled them to leapfrog Canterbury into third place on the Premiership table, as the red-and-blacks slumped to their third win from four games in the top tier.
All Blacks centre Richard Kahui, returning from a hamstring injury, got on the try-scoring sheet as Waikato deservedly disposed of their Southern rivals after Canterbury ran over the Mooloos in last year's final.
Waikato had the four-try bonus point after just 25 minutes when Kahui crossed over after a thrilling 75m counter-attack and the Mooloos led 24-10 at the break after an entertaining first half.
But the second spell produced only a penalty apiece and deteriorated so much that the final whistle came as a relief to the crowd of 3,500.
Pens: Taylor 2
Tries: Smith, Lynn, Mikkelson, Kahui
Cons: Donald 2
Canterbury: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty/Tom Taylor, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal/Taylor, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock (c), 5 Ash Parker, 4 Luke Romano/Reuben Thorne, 3 Andrew Olorenshaw, 2 Steve Fualau, 1 Paea Fa'anunu.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Nepo Laulala, 18 Thorne/Dominic Bird, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Mark Swanepoel, 21 Taylor/Robbie Flynn, 22 Johnny McNicholl, 23 Sam Cottam.
Waikato: 15 Trent Renata, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Tim Mikkelson, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Alex Bradley, 7 Marty Holah, 6 Matt Vant Leven, 5 Romana Graham, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Nathan White (c), 2 Marcel Cummings-Toone, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ted Tauroa, 17 Ben May, 18 Chris Middleton, 19 Zak Hohneck, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Declan O'Donnell, 22 Save Tokula, 23 Latu Talakai.