Auckland are third in provincial rugby's Premiership following last night's win over Manawatu and coach Paul Feeney is confident they are on track to be genuine title contenders.
The 45-28 victory over the Turbos at Eden Park was Auckland's third win from five games and they sit just two points behind leaders Tasman and just one point behind second placed Canterbury.
Auckland raced out to a 27-0 lead, but they didn't pick up the bonus point until the 58th minute.
Ben Lam scored two of Auckland's five tries, while Manawatu scored four tries of their own.
Feeney believes Auckland have the firepower to win the title, despite a tough run over their next few games.
He says they've improved from their first games and he's happy where they are after the last couple of matches.
Feeney says while they are giving up points, his side has scored almost 100 points in their last two games, so if they keep on track there he'll be happy.
Auckland play Otago, Tasman and Hawke's Bay and Feeney says it doesn't get any easier but happy with the way the group is performing.
Winless Manawatu remain rooted to the bottom of the Premiership table.