Hawke's Bay lodged their first victory of the 2010 ITM Cup season on Sunday with a 17-9 success over Manawatu in Palmerston North.
While events the previous day in Pretoria saw Victor Matfield run out for his 100th Test, it was prop Clint Newland who was celebrating the same milestone for the Magpies.
Manawatu meanwhile had been boosted by the return of All Blacks Aaron Cruden and Israel Dagg with the former kicking all of his side's points.
But it was four penalties from Daniel Kirkpatrick and a second-half try from Gillies Kaka that sealed the win for Hawke's Bay, a win that was much-needed following their slow start to the campaign.
Cruden was one of the standout players of the contest and his running, kicking and general game-management would've been a comfort for the All Black coaches watching on.
However, it was generally a disjointed game with tries hard to come by, the closest action of the first-half coming in the ninth minute when Hika Elliot almost went over from a set-piece move.
Consequently, it turned into the battle of the tens as Kirkpatrick and Cruden kept things ticking over, with all of Manawatu's points coming during the first period.
The hosts in fact went in ahead at the break but it didn't too long for Hawke's Bay to get their noses in front as Kirkpatrick was on target from the tee.
And from there, a rather ominous try came about after a clever grubber through from Zac Guildford allowed Magpies winger Kaka to get over the whitewash.
Kirkpatrick then extended the lead with another three points as Manawatu were left with no points from the meeting.
Pen: Cruden 3
For Hawke's Bay:
Pen: Kirkpatrick 4
Manawatu: 15 Craig Clare, 14 Casey Stone, 13 Shannon Paku, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Tomasi Cama, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Mitchell Crosswell, 7 Doug Tietjens, 6 Hamish Gosling, 5 Fraser Stone, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Rob Foreman, 1 Grant Polson (captain).
Replacements: 16 Sean O'Connor, 17 Karl Haitana, 18 Bertus Mulder, 19 Callum Bibbins, 20 Karl Bryson, 21 Isaac Thompson, 22 Francis Bryant.
Hawke's Bay: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Gillies Kaka, 13 Richard Buckman, 12 Jason Shoemark (captain), 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Michael Coman, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Michael Johnson, 5 Ross Kennedy, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Clint Newland.
Replacements: 16 Eugene Smith, 17 Josh Keys, 18 Trent Boswell-Wakefield, 19 Grant Webb, 20 Chris Eaton, 21 Star Timu, 22 Luke Rooney.