Canterbury won the battle of the provincial rugby powerhouses, comfortably beating Auckland 35-16 at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday night.
Canterbury led 15-6 at half-time after notching two tries in the first 10 minutes.
Luke Romano, Telusa Veainu, Robbie Fruean, Sean Maitland all scored a try apiece for the winners, while Colin Slade struck three penalties and three conversions. Onosai'i Auva'a was Auckand's sole try-scorer.
Earlier on Saturday, Wellington stormed back to defeat Northland in the National Provincial Championship at Westpac Stadium.
Scoring three second half tries, the Lions pulled back from 25-10 at half-time to win 31-28.
Northland's Lachie Munro had a chance to grab a draw but missed a penalty in the final minute.
Victor Vito with two, Sean Treeby, Julian Savea, John Schwalger scored tries for Wellington; Dean Budd with a brace and Aaron Bancroft touched down for the Taniwha.
Waikato proved too strong for Chiefs neighbours Counties-Manukau in their clash in Hamilton this afternoon with the Mooloo taking maximum points from the 39-3 victory.
Waikato staged a second half scoring spree dotting down for four tries as they blew Counties off the park with a whirlwind of running rugby in sunny conditions.
On Sunday, Manawatu play Hawke's Bay in Palmerston North and Bay of Plenty host North Harbour in Rotorua. All four teams are in the bottom five of the table which is led by Southland, two points ahead of Wellington.