A long-range try finished by All Blacks centre Richard Kahui clinched the bonus point for Waikato in a convincing 27-13 victory over Canterbury in their National Provincial Championship match in Christchurch on Wednesday.
The visitors got out of the blocks quickly and had the bonus point wrapped up in the opening 25 minutes as they took the game to Canterbury and raced out to a 24-10 lead at the half-time break.
Loosehead prop Toby Smith powered over for the opening try after just two minutes after Waikato had won their kick-off back and surged upfield before the big front-ranker forced his way over.
Waikato kept the intensity up and secured the bonus point when Kahui got over the line after a counter attack from 75 metres out. Fullback Trent Renata broke the line and received support from wing Henry Speight before Kahui finished it off in the corner.
The second half was far less entertaining with both sides managing just a penalty each and Waikato cruised to a comfortable victory in the end.
Wellington massacred Northland in their clash on Wednesday, running away with a dominant 43-19 victory at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
The home side ran in six tries in an impressive turnaround after conceding consecutive losses to Hawke's Bay and Bay of Plenty. By contrast Northland were very poor with their leaky defence a particular point of weakness.
First-half tries to scrumhalf Frae Wilson and wing Alipate Leiua gave the home side a 22-6 lead at the break and more five-pointers in the second half from Victor Vito, Faifili Levave and Dane Coles sealed an impressive performance which saw solid displays from All Blacks wings Corey Jane and Hosea Gear.
Northland goal-kicker Lachie Munro kept his side in touch with the boot but it was not enough as Wellington romped to an easy victory.
Waikato 27-13 Canterbury
Pens: Taylor 2
Tries: Smith, Mikkelson, Lynn, Kahui
Cons: Donald 2
Canterbury: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock (captain), 5 Ash Parker, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Andrew Olorenshaw, 2 Steve Fualau, 1 Paea Fa'anunu.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Nepo Laulala, 18 Reuben Thorne, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Mark Swanepoel, 21 Takarei Norton, 22 Johnny McNicholl, 23 Sam Cottam.
Waikato: 15 Trent Renata, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Tim Mikkelson, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Alex Bradley, 7 Marty Holah, 6 Matt Vant Leven, 5 Romana Graham, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Nathan White (captain), 2 Marcel Cummings-Toone, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ted Tauroa, 17 Ben May, 18 Chris Middleton, 19 Zack Hohneck, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Declan O'Donnell, 22 Save Tokula, 23 Latu Talakai.
Referee: Richard Kelly
Wellington 43-19 Northland
Tries: Leiua 2, Levave, Wilson, Vito, Coles
Cons: Sopoaga 5
Pens: Munro 4
Wellington: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Alipate Leiua, 13 Shaun Treeby, 12 Michael Hobbs, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Frae Wilson, 8 Faifili Levave, 7 Dean Brunsdon, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush (captain), 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Reg Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Scott Fuglistaller, 19 Victor Vito, 20 TJ Perenara, 21 Michael Lealava'a, 22 Charlie Ngatai, 23 Arden David-Perrot.
Northland: 15 Lachie Munro, 14 Simon Munro, 13 Jared Payne (captain), 12 Aaron Bancroft, 11 Bryce Heem, 10 Jack McPhee, 9 Rhyan Caine, 8 Cameron Goodhue, 7 Cameron Eyre, 6 Dan Faleafa, 5 Mark Burman, 4 Bryce Williams, 3 Scott Vessey, 2 Ross Wright, 1 Justin Davies.
Replacements: 16 Tevita Vaipulu, 17 Aterea Davis, 18 Marty Veale, 19 Danny Mason, 20 Wayne Ngaluafe, 21 Ash Moeke, 22 Derek Carpenter, 23 Jamie Corsi.
Referee: Grant Stuart
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