Hawkes Bay have retained the Ranfurly Shield, successfully defending Auckland's challenge 17-12 in their provincial rugby clash in Napier on Thursday night.
However the Magpies fullback Israel Dagg suffered a dislocated shoulder injury late in the game, and his chances of playing a replacement role for the All Blacks at the World Cup, if needed, may be over.
A scratchy opening spell on a damp evening finished with Auckland ahead 9-3 after 35 minutes.
Then the Magpies forwards finally held onto the ball - for 23 phases - before rumbling over the line to re-take the lead.
Visiting first-five Simon Hickey's fourth penalty gave Auckland the 12-10 half-time lead.
But Hickey would miss two more kicks, which proved costly after his opposite number Ihaia West raced through the defence close in to score his team's second try in the 64th minute.
West converted his own score to match Hickey's 12-point haul, though he missed a drop kick after that, before Dagg's shoulder was crunched at a ruck with five minutes left on the clock.
Hawke's Bay can retain the Shield for the summer if they can win their last home game in two weeks, against Waikato.