Hawke's Bay were able to claim a valuable 30-21 away win over Manawatu at Arena Manawatu on Saturday.
Manawatu claimed the first try of the game when Travis Taylor scored in the 11th minute. The home side held all the cards going into the second half as they were up 11-3.
Hawk's Bay finally got into the game when they scored a try through second-row Mark Abbott. But Manawatu responded only three minutes later as Travis Taylor dotted down and euqalised the scoring.
Ihaia West then added to his side's tally when he slotted two penalties in ten minutes of each other to get a six-point lead on the hosts. Two minutes later the looming presence of outside centre Robbie Fruean led to tangible results when the giant crossed the line for a five pointer making the score 16-27.
Manawatu weren't out of the race yet as reserve Tim Cadwallader scored a try to close the gap on the visitors who looked like they were going to run away with it.
But West had the final say with another penalty in the 78th minute when he compounded his side's lead.
Tries: Taylor 2, Cadwallader
Pens: Black 2
For Hawke's Bay:
Tries: Abbott, Fruean
Pens: West 6
Manawatu: 15 Jason Emery, 14 Ambrose Curtis, 13 Ngani Laumape, 12 Hamish Northcott, 11 Nathan Tudreu, 10 Otere Black, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 7 Antonio Kiri Kiri, 6 Harrison Brewer, 5 Jackson Hemopo, 4 Tom Parons, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Travis Taylor, 1 Chris Eves
Replacements: 16 Tim Cadwallader, 17 Tukiterangi Raimona, 18 Jake Ilnicki, 19 Kane Thompson, 20 Valentino Mapapalangi, 21 Toby Morland, 22 Sam Malcolm, 23 Curtis Reid
Hawke's Bay: 15 Matt Garland, 14 Jonah Lowe, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Tiaan Falcon, 11 Mason Emerson, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Chris Eaton, 8 Fa'alemiga Selesele, 7 Tony Lamborn, 6 Trent Boswell-Wakefield, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Geoff Cridge, 3 Ben May, 2 Ash Dixon (c), 1 Tolu Fahamokioa
Replacements: 16 Jorian Tangaere, 17 Ricky Riccitelli, 18 Mason Kean, 19 Ross Filipo, 20 Ben Hamelink, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Billy Ropiha, 23 Ryan Tongia
Referee: Michael Lash