There were Mitre 10 Cup wins for Taranaki, Wellington and Canterbury on Saturday as they beat Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay and Auckland respectively.
Bay of Plenty 22-30 Taranaki
Taranaki survived a late scare from Bay of Plenty as they held on to start their Mitre 10 Cup with a 30-22 win in Tauranga on Saturday.
The 'Naki led 14-0 at the interval thanks to scores from Jonathan Faauli and Berny Hall, both being converted by full-back Marty McKenzie.
And when Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi crossed for the visitors in the 51st minute it looked like the game was sealed as a contest for the visitors.
But back came the Steamers with tries from Lalakai Foketi, Te Rangi Fraser and Joe Tupe before the 70-minute mark making it a tight finish.
Taranaki held on though and McKenzie's penalty with five minutes to play made sure they were more than a score ahead at the final whistle.
For Bay of Plenty:
Tries: Foketi, Fraser, Tupe
Cons: Haimona 2
Tries: Faauli, Hall, Tahuriorangi
Cons: McKenzie 3
Pens: McKenzie 3
Bay of Plenty: 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Monty Ioane, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Isaac Te Aute, 10 Dan Hollinshead, 9 Te Aihe Toma, 8 Joe Tupe, 7 Hugh Blake, 6 Henry Stowers, 5 Culum Retallick, 4 Shahn Eru, 3 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 2 James O’Reilly, 1 Solomona Sakalia
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Pingi Tala’apitaga, 19 Keepa Mewett, 20 Jesse Parete, 21 Luke Campbell, 22 Kelly Haimona, 23 Te Rangi Fraser
Taranaki: 15 Marty McKenzie, 14 Jackson Ornond, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Johnny Fa'auli, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Mitchell Brown, 7 Berny Hall, 6 Mitchell Crosswell (c), 5 Leon Power, 4 Ben Matwijow, 3 Mike Kainga, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Mitchell Graham
Replacements: 16 Sione Lea, 17 Jared Proffit, 18 Ryan Cocker, 19 Iopu Iopu-Aso,20 Toa Halafihi, 21 Kylem O'Donnell, 22 Beaudein Waaka, 23 Manasa Mataele
Referee: Michael Lash
Hawke's Bay 26-36 Wellington
Wellington got their Mitre 10 Cup season off to a positive start, winning 36-26 at the home of Premiership side Hawke's Bay on Saturday.
Tries from Alex Fidow, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Galu Taufale, Joe Hill and Greg Foe saw the visitors claim victory at McLean Park in Napier.
Billy Ropiha scored the game's first try for the hosts, with Falemiga Selesele also crossing before the interval as the Magpies were 8-12 up.
But the Lions then took control of the match with Garden-Bachop, Taufale, Hill and Foe's scores meaning Geoffrey Cridge and Ryan Tongia's efforts came in vain for Hawke's Bay, who begin life in the top flight with a loss.
For Hawke's Bay:
Tries: Ropiha, Selesele, Cridge, Tongia
Cons: West 3
Tries: Fidow, Garden-Bachop, Taufale, Hill, Foe
Cons: Woodward, Garden-Bachop 4
Hawke's Bay: 15 Lewis Marshall, 14 Ryan Tongia, 13 Jonah Lowe, 12 Billy Ropiha, 11 Mason Emerson, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Ellery Wilson, 8 Fa'alemiga Selesele, 7 Tony Lamborn, 6 Hugh Renton, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Geoff Cridge, 3 Tolu Fahamokioa, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Ricky Riccitelli
Replacements: 16 Jorian Tangaera, 17 Jason Long, 18 Ben May, 19 Josh Eden Whaitiri, 20 Marino Mikaele Tu'u, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Tiaan Falcon, 23 Matt Garland
Wellington: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Joe Hill, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Tomasi Palu, 8 Hoani Matenga, 7 Greg Foe (c), 6 Galu Taufale, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3 Chris Baumann, 2 Leni Apisai, 1 Vince Sakaria
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Alex Fidow, 18 Joe Apikotoa, 19 Kane Leaupepe, 20 Isaac O'Connor, 21 Sheridan Rangihuna, 22 Pakai Turia, 23 Peter Umaga-Jensen
Referee: Brett Johnson
Canterbury 43-3 Auckland
Canterbury got their season off to a fantastic start as they brushed aside Auckland in Christchurch, winning 43-3 in a one-sided encounter.
It was a comfortable victory for the defending champions as they scored six tries on the night, with only a Simon Hickey penalty being leaked.
Richie Mo'unga, Ben Funnell, Johnny McNicholl and Reed Prinsep crossed before the interval as the seven-time winners went in 29-3 in front.
It was more of the same after the break for Scott Robertson's side as McNicholl and replacement hooker Nathan Vella wrapped up a solid win.
Tries: Mo'unga, Funnell, McNicholl 2, Prinsep, Vella
Cons: Mo'unga 4, Volavola
Canterbury: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Luke Whitelock (c), 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Alex Hodgman
Replacements: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jed Brown, 21 Jack Stratton, 22 Inga Finau, 23 Ben Volavola
Auckland: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Stacey Ili, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Vince Aso, 11 Pryor Collier, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Leon Fukofuka, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Joe Edwards, 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Liaki Moli, 4 Scott Scrafton, 3 Isi Tu’ungafasi, 2 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 1 Sam Prattley
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Tom McHugh, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Jono Hickey, 22 Tyrone Elkington-MacDonald, 23 Latiume Fosita
Referee: Mike Fraser