Auckland thrashed Northland 64-21 at Eden Park on Saturday in the biggest scoreline in the ITM Cup this year.
A rampant Aucklanders moved second in the Premierships standings, trailing only Canterbury with a week left in the round robin.
Northland's sloppy defensive work saw Auckland run in 10 tries.Auckland need to secure a win over Counties Manukau to assure themselves a home semi-final in a fortnight.
Auckland had a 35-0 lead going into half-time but Northland managed to score two tries in the second stanza. Both tries were scored by centre Warren Dunn who looked dangerous on attack and seemed to be one of the few visitors to put the pressure on the home side.
The second half saw Auckland ring the changes and they lost some of their momentum as they struggled to extend their lead.
Number eight, Akira Ioane ran in two tries showing his attacking ability from the onset. Hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate showed off his pace as he made a clean break, which resulted in a try for full-back Melani Nanai.
Dunn wasn't the only try scorer for Northland however, as lock Michael Stolberg scored after a lovely break by halfback Sam Nock.
Auckland had the last say with Kirk Eklund scoring his first try at first-class level in the 76th minute and George Moala scoring his second soon after the restart.
Tries: Ioane 2, Moala 2, Pleasants-Tate, Nanai, Visinia, Heem, Karpik, Eklund
Cons: S. Hickey 5, J. Hickey, Fonoti
Tries: Dunn 2, Stolberg
Cons: Hawkins 3
Auckland: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Charles Piutau, 12 George Moala, 11 Lolagi Visinia, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Leon Fukofuka, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Mitch Karpik, 6 Joe Edwards, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Isileli Tu'ungafasi 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Matt Matich, 21 Jono Hickey, 22 Calvary Fonoti, 23 Bryce Heem.
Northland: 15 Matt Wright, 14 Filipo Nakosi, 13 Warren Dunn, 12 Troy Gilbert, 11 Jone Macilai-Tori, 10 Daniel Hawkins, 9 Kurt Davies, 8 Dan Pryor, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Shane Neville, 5 Mike Stolberg, 4 Sean Sweetman, 3 Matt Talaese, 2 Matt Moulds, 1 Howard Silioto,
Replacements: 16 Jordan Olsen, 17 Ross Wright, 18 Tomas Ramirez, 19 Taniela Manu, 20 Jaycob Matiu, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Tyler Lansdowne, 23 Waisea Lawebuka,