Counties Manukau have successfully defended provincial rugby's greatest trophy with a 44-7, six tries to one rout of visitors Taranaki.
New Ranfurly Shield holders Counties scored three tries to lead 25-nil at half-time in front of 12-thousand fans at Pukekohe's ECOLight Stadium, and scored the bonus point fourth try after the break.
The hosts then capped the dominant display with two late tries.
Waikato are the next Shield challengers on Saturday. If Counties can repel the Mooloo men then it's just one more defence against Southland on October the 11th, before the Steelers can lock the Old Log away for the summer.