Waikato have moved into semi-final contention with three rounds of the provincial rugby competition remaining, after a 12-point victory at Northland.
But the Mooloo men's win came at a cost with halfback Brendon Leonard taken to hospital after being knocked out in a blow to his hopes of regaining his All Blacks jersey at the end of the month.
Coach Chris Gibbes says Leonard's coping well and he's been cleared of any serious injury after colliding with Northland fullback Lachie Munro in the 63rd minute of the game.
The former All Black was checked at Northland hospital before being released late Saturday night.
Team doctor Paul Kennedy says Leonard was knocked unconscious and sustained an injury to his right ear.
He will see an ear, nose and throat specialist this week to determine the length of time he'll be out of rugby.
Wellington have slipped out of the top seven after Counties Manukau's win over North Harbour. Canterbury are now top above Southland - the two play for the Ranfurly Shield on Saturday.