Southland suffered their second ITM Cup loss in as many outings after going down 29-18 to Hawke's Bay in Napier on Tuesday.
Both sides bagged two tries apiece but the boot of Magpies centre Andrew Horrell proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Horrell contributed 24 points, which consisted of a try, two conversions and five penalties to help the 'Championship' outfit along to their first win of the season.
Meanwhile, North Harbour bounced back from last week's opening loss at the hands of Otago after beating Tasman with a five-try second-half blitz paving a 39-15 victory.
After a supremely dominant first half, the Makos led 15-6 only to run out of puff and were held scoreless in the second spell.
For Hawke's Bay:
Tries: Eaton, Horrell
Cons: Horrell 2
Pens: Horrell 5
Tries: Robinson, Hardie.
Pen: Robinson 2
Hawke's Bay: 15 Richard Buckman, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Star Timu, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Tu Umaga-Marshall, 10 Daniel Kirkpatrick 9 Chris Eaton, 8 Mike Coman (c), 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Trent Boswell-Wakefield, 5 Ashton Johnson, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Jody Allen, 2 Hikawera Elliot, 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Danny Logan, 17 Hikairo Forbes, 18 Maselino Paulino or Kane Thompson, 19 Adam Bradey, 20 Isaac Paewai or Kahn Fotuali'i, 21 McLeod or Tua Saseve, 22 Gillies Kaka, 23 Ben Tameifuna or Anthony Perenise
Southland: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Tim Cornforth, 13 James Lew, 12 Matt Saunders (capt), 11 Glen Horton, 10 James Wilson, 9 Scott Cowan, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Tim Boys, 6 John Hardie, 5 Joe Tuineau, 4 Ben Nally, 3 Nick Barrett, 2 David Hall, 1 Michael Peterson.
Replacements: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Kaleni Taituli, 20 Sonny Rangitohereri, 21 Kendrick Lynn, 22 Scott Eade, 23 Chris King
Referee: Vinny Munro