Otago opened their ITM Cup campaign with a 46-29 victory over North Harbour at Carisbrook in Dunedin on Thursday.
It was an impressive start to the revamped competition by the southerners, who ran in six tries past their visitors to go top of the 'Championship' division.
North Harbour did manage to take home a four-try bonus point, but they were always playing catch-up after trailing 24-5 at half-time.
New Otago skipper Ebven Joubert crossed the whitewash twice for his team, while veteran fly-half Tony Brown controlled play superbly to mastermind the home side's win.
The comprehensive defeat completed a miserable week for North Harbour in the build-up to this match, following the unexplained absence of unwanted All Black Luke McAlister.
Tries: Hill, Joubert 2, Atiga, Ioane, Verbakel
Cons: Dickson 5
For North Harbour:
Tries: King, Rei, Wulf, Luamanu
Cons: Botica 3