Taranaki climbed to third place in the ITM Cup standings on Saturday thanks to a dogged 23-6 win over Southland in New Plymouth.
The result is Taranaki's first victory against Southland since 2004 and they thoroughly deserved their four points against a side that had started the weekend in the championship lead.
Taranaki lie four points behind new leaders Canterbury and just two behind Southland, who have now gone two matches without scoring a try.
There wasn't much to write home about in terms of attack as Taranaki's aggressive defence won the day.
Southland again failed to do much with the ball and even the introduction of All Black scrum-half Jimmy Cowan in the second half could not overturn the visitor's 13-3 half time deficit.
Taranaki fly-half Willie Ripia added thirteen points in a faultless display from the kicking tee.
Taranaki made the best possible start with inside centre Jayden Hayward crossing the whitewash within five minutes, finishing off a move started by a break from wing David Smith
It could have been worse for Southland but for another try-saving tackle from Jason Rutledge, who denied Taranaki hooker Mahonri Schwalger.
Hayward would have scored a second try in the second half but was tripped by his opposite number Matt Saunders after chipping ahead, forcing referee Garratt Williamson to award a penalty try.
The Stags' points came from the boot of Robbie Robinson, who had a mixed night, missing three penalty attempts and losing possession far too often as the visitors struggled with their continuity on attack.
Taranaki replacement back Isaia Tuifua made a try-saving tackle in the corner to deny lock Josh Bekhuis.
While Robinson continued to miss with shots at goal, Ripia sealed the win for Taranaki.
Tries: Hayward, penalty try
Cons: Ripia 2
Pens: Ripia 3
Pens: Robinson 2
Taranaki: 15 Scott Ireland, 14 Andre Taylor, 13 George Pisi, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 David Smith, 10 Willie Ripia, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Chris Walker, 6 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Craig Clarke (c), 4 James Broadhurst, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Shane Cleaver.
Replacements: 16 Timo Tutavaha, 17 Carl Carmichael, 18 Kane Barrett, 19 Johnny Willis, 20 Brett Goodin, 21 Beauden Barrett, 22 Isaia Tuifua.
Southland: 15 Glen Horton, 14 Mark Wells, 13 Tony Koonwaiyoo, 12 Matt Saunders, 11 James Paterson, 10 Robbie Robinson, 9 Scott Cowan, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Tim Boyes, 6 John Hardie, 5 Joe Tuineau, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (c).
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Nick Barrett, 18 Alex Ryan, 19 Dion Bates, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Seminar Manu, 22 Pehi Te Whare.
Referee: Garratt Williamson