Auckland made it three wins from three in this year's ITM Cup after battling past a spirited Bay of Plenty side 32-17 at Eden Park on Saturday.
The victory was sweet revenge for last season's loss to the Steamers, with tries scored by Malakai Fekitoa, Luke Braid, George Moala and Hadleigh Parkes, with Simon Hickey kicking twelve points.
Kimami Sitauti was the lone try scorer for Bay of Plenty but Auckland would have to wait until the 70th minute to put the ITM Cup game to bed.
Auckland now move level on points with second-placed Wellington ahead of this Wednesday's home meeting with Counties Manukau. Bay of Plenty will in turn host table toppers Canterbury.
Tries: Fekitoa, Braid, Moala, Parkes
Con: Hickey 3
Pen: Hickey 2
For Bay of Plenty:
Pen: Ripia 4
Auckland: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 George Moala, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Hadleigh Parkes (c), 11 Lolagi Visinia, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Sean Polwart, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Jack Whetton, 19 Sean Brookman, 20 Junior Poluleiligaga, 21 Vince Aso, 22 Tenina Sauileoge.
Bay of Plenty: 15 Dave Thomas, 14 Tino Nemani, 13 Brett Mather, 12 Sam Beard, 11 Kimami Sitauti, 10 Willie Ripia, 9 Samisoni Fisilau, 8 Carl Axtens, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Sam Cane, 5 Keepa Mewett, 4 Yohan Bardoul, 3 Pingi Talaapitaga, 2 Joe Royal, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Beau Williams, 19 Joe Tupe, 20 Josh Hall, 21 Nick Evemy, 22, Junior Tofa-Va'a.