North Harbour were able to outscore Southland four tries to one while claiming a bonus-point in their 35-14 win over in Albany on Sunday.
The weather played a massive part in the game on Sunday as both teams dropped aerial bombs on the opposition as they tried to use the wet weather to their advantage but then North Harbour decided to take a different approach and play with the ball in hand.
North Harbour drew first blood when Tevita Li crossed the line after some silky interplay between fly-half Bryn Gatland and fullback Matt McGahan after prop Nic Mayhew set them up in the midfield. Gatland gave it wide to McGahan who snuck an inside pass to Li who scored under the posts.
Southland then tried to play their some of their expansive rugby and it worked out for therm as they surged up the field and over the line but unfortunately they were help over the line as their efforts came to nil.
North Harbour lock Gerard Cowley-Tuioti ran in for their second try of the match when the second-row ripped the ball away from Southland fly-half
Wharenui Hawera as the number 10 received the pass from his nine, and the absence of former All Blacks halfback Jimmy Cowan was missed.
Southland finally got a five-pointer for themselves when they set-up a maul through their heavy forwards that surged up-field before prop Penu Ravai popped out with the ball in hand and sprinted the remaining 10 metres to grab himself the try.
Just as Southland were looking like they were building some momentum, they conceded two tries as flanker Chris Vui crossed the line and five minutes afterwards Li scored his second try of the match.
Tries: Cowley-Tuioti, Vui, Li 2
Cons: Gatland, Matt McGahan
Pens: Hawera 3
North Harbour: 15 Matt McGahan 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Matt Vaega, 12 Michael Little, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Murphy Taramai, 7 Connor Collett, 6 Chris Vui, 5 Brandon Nansen, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 Adrian Smith, 1 Nic Mayhew
Replacements: 16 Kalem Chan Boon, 17 Hani Fatai, 18 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 19 Glken Preston, 20 Hapakuki Moala-Liavaa, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Daniel Hilton-Jones, 23 Afa Faatau
Southland: 15 Junior Nagluafe 14 Mike Molloy, 13 Dylan Collier, 12 James Schrader, 11 Jaye Thompson, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Joshua Clark, 7 Tim Boys, 6 Bill Fukofuka, 5 Matthew Phillip, 4 Mike McKee, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Brayden Mitchell, 1 Joseph Walsh
Replacements: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Penu Ravai, 18 Morgan Mitchell, 19 Mike Stewart, 20 Mika Mafi, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Kieran Moffat, 23 Tauasosi Tuimavave