Tasman - 0 Canterbury - 29
This was more like the red and blacks we've come to know.
With the threat of a shock relegation looming, Canterbury have put forth their best performance of the year in a demolition of the defending champion Mako in Blenheim.
The visitors ran in four tries to zilch to secure a priceless five points, as they try to stave off demotion with one round remaining.
For as strong as their attacking play was, Canterbury's defence was the anchor for the victory, setting an aggressive tone early that they maintained throughout the contest to completely shut out the Mako.
Luke Romano was imperious across the park for Canterbury, single handedly wreaking havoc on the Tasman lineout.
The Punivai brothers ran in one try apiece, while fullback Josh McKay's ran in a spectacular solo effort that has to be the leading contender for try of the season.
Canterbury return to Christchurch to take on Auckland next Sunday, while Tasman travel to Dunedin to face Otago on Saturday.
Canterbury 29 (Ngane Punivai, Chay Fihaki, Josh McKay, Isaiah Punivai tries, Cameron pen, 3 cons) Tasman 0 (H/T 17-0)
FULLTIME - Watch the video above for highlights
82nd minute - One final crack at a consolation try for the Mako, lineout at the 22m. Fitting way to end the contest, as Canterbury steal the lineout and boot it into touch to seal a commanding win.
77th minute - TRY CANTERBURY to Punivai - Cameron spots replacement wing Isaiah Punivai unmarked out wide, fires him a skip pass and the 19-year-old holds off a defender and crashes over in the corner. Bonus point in the bag for the Cantabs. Conversion slides wide. (0-29)
75th minute - More front-foot ball for Canterbury, Punivai pulled down 15m out. Canterbury searching for the bonus point try.
70th minute - Things are getting a tad scrappy out there. Romano with another lineout steal, he has been immense tonight. Canterbury 15m out now... Tasman nab an intercept to kill off the attack.
66th minute - Canterbury clear to the 22m, Tasman still within range. Romano goes high and spoils another chance for the Mako. Penalty at the ruck, Canterbury lineout at halfway.
64th minute - Lineout drive from the Mako, goes down inches short. Referee says it was still a maul, and that will be a turnover.
59th minute - Mako with an attacking lineout, 10m from the tryline. The forwards tuck it and roll a maul. Another penalty, they go to the 5m line out... and lose it on their own throw. Cameron clears to trouch.
53rd minute - Lineout at halfway for Tasman. They need to make something happen quickly. A forward pass won't help that cause. Canterbury scrum, they have another chance to attack from 30m out. Penalty Tasman at the scrum, then the ensuing kick does not find touch. That kind of night for the Mako.
46th minute - TRY CANTERBURY to Fihaki - The young wing adds to his standout game with a great defensive read, snaring the intercept and running it in from 30m out. Cameron nails the sideline conversion and this is getting rather ugly for the hosts. (0-24)
44th minute - Scrum penalty goes Canterbury's way, and that was against the feed. Cameron points to the posts again, this one's 43m out on the angle... ball drops just wide of the lefthand upright.
41st minute - Tasman receive to get the second stanza started.
Second half underway...
40th minute - TRY CANTERBURY to McKay - That's one of the best individual tries of the season from the fullback, who, after receiving a poor kick, beat no less than four defenders with a series of steps and cuts to score under the crossbar and round out a great half for the red and blacks. 40m effort, that was. Stunner. (0-17)
37th minute - Canterbury on attack, and this time it's Tasman who bring the defensive pressure and win the turnover at the ruck.
35th minute - Tasman with some red zone ball, 15m out now. Canterbury defence is up to the task, as they have been all game. Knock on, Drummond clears and gets a great bounce. All of a sudden it's a lineout for Canterbury, 15m from the Tasman line. Mako steal the lineout and clear.
31st minute - Fihaki soars to reel in a Drummond bomb at full pace, spectacular take. Canterbury penalty, Cameron will have a shot at the posts from 40m out on the angle...slots it. (0-10)
27th minute - Caterbury's Fihaki is having a crack at the posts here from what must be 55m on the angle.... had the legs but it's wide left.
23rd minute - Havili scythes through defenders on a kick return, frees up Fainga'anuku. Canterbury in quickly at the ruck, win the defensive penalty.
22nd minute - Canterbury mean business tonight, they've come out with plenty of vigour. Tasman win a penalty, lineout at the Canterbury 10m. Knock on forced from the lineout however, Canterbury scrum.
17th minute - Canterbury's kick out on the full, Tasman throw a lineout at the opposition 10m.
13th minute - Tasman defence up quickly to shut down several Canterbury movements, before winning a penalty at the ruck. They'll launch from a lineout 15m out. Stray pass from the Mako, and Canterbury bang it deep and out of danger.
8th minute - Attacking scrum for Tasman, 22m from the line. Penalty advantage cashed in, and Hunt bangs over a penalty from handy range.,... and he's missed it. Wow, that was close to a gimme, 25m out on a very slight angle.
3rd minute - TRY CANTERBURY to Punivai - The wing makes a blockbusting run down the left touchline, bumping aside two defenders on his way behind the posts. (0-7)
1st minute - Hunt gets us started in Blenheim, as Canterbury receive. Out on the full, ideal start for the red and blacks.
7:03pm - Both teams making their way out on to Lansdowne Park in ideal conditions for running rugby in Blenheim.
6:40pm - Join us here at 7:05pm, when we'll have all the action from the Crusaders region derby between Tasman and struggling Canterbury in Nelson.
North Harbour - 32 Counties Manukau - 5
North Harbour - Jared Page, Luteru Tolai, Teague McElroy, Thomas Aoke tries, Bryn Gatland 3 cons, pen
Counties Manukau - Kirisi Kuridrani try
72nd minute - Gatland bangs over a penalty, just to rub some extra salt into the wound. (32-5)
69th minute - TRY NORTH HARBOUR - Hall sees his wing Aoake looming wide unmarked and hits him right on the chest for an untouched try in the corner. Gatland's conversion slides wide. (29-5)
63rd minute - TRY NORTH HARBOUR - Prop Teague McElroy wriggles his way over the chalk from close range to extend the hosts' lead. Easy conversion for Gatland (24-5)
55th miniute - TRY COUNTIES - Kuridrani jogs one in out wide to capitalise on a super earlier break from Sione Molia. Conversion hits the post. (17-5)
47th minute - TRY NORTH HARBOUR - Textbook 5m lineout and drive sees hooker Luteru Tolai crash over with ease. Conversion is good from Gatland. (17-0)
Second half underway...
40th minute - Gatland bangs over a penalty from 40m out after the hooter to extend Harbour's lead. (10-0)
11th minute - TRY NORTH HARBOUR - Great vision from halback Bryn Hall, who spots Jared Page unmarked out wide and fires a long cut-out pass for the big win to crash over from just a metre out. Gatland converts. (7-0)
4:05pm - Superb effort from Northland, who led the majority of the contest, but it was Auckland who were able to convert at opportune times. Salesi Rayasi was the star for the hosts, with a barce of tries and an assist on his team's third.
Join us back here at 4:35pm for North Harbour v Counties Manukau.
Auckland - 24 Northland - 20
Auckland - Rayasi 2, Adams 1 tries, Plummer
Northland - Macilai, Nock, Cooper pen, Sullivan pen, Plummer 3 cons
83 mins - Taniwha 5m lineout, can they steal victory? Penalty at the lineout! And that will do us, Auckland hold on.
75 mins - TRY AUCKLAND - Plummer snipes blindside to create an overlap for Rayasi to run in his second try of the day. Plummer nails a critical conversion (24-20)
73 mins - TRY NORTHLAND - Hooker Jordan Olsen burrows over from close range to give the Taniwha back the lead. Cooper converts. (17-20)
68 mins - TRY AUCKLAND - Prop Jarred Adams sparks a break, open saces, links with Rayasi who quickly returns the ball to the big prop, who dives into the corner to put Auckland back in front. Plummer converts. (17-13)
56 mins - TRY NORTHLAND - Exciting counter attacking play, as Ranger chips ahead for Sam Nock to score in the corner. Conversion is wide (13-10)
53 mins - TRY AUCKLAND - Salesi Rayasi nabs an intercept at halfway and gallops 50m to score behind the post. (10-8)
47 mins - Zarn Sullivan nails a long-range penalty to put Auckland on the board.
Second half underway...
40 mins - TRY NORTHLAND - The Taniwha capitalise on a long period of possession, Jone Macilai wide open on the wing and he jogs the first try of the game comfortably into the corner. Cooper shanks the conversion.
12 mins - Cooper slots a penalty to give Northland the lead.
Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of Saturday's three Mitre 10 Cup games from week nine of the competition.
With just two rounds remaining ahead of the playoffs there is plenty on the line for all six teams in action today.
First up at 2:05pm, Auckland faces Northland from Eden Park and a win for the home side would see them edge closer to finishing top of the Premiership standings. For Northland, a win would confirm their place in the Championship semi-finals.
Then at 4:35pm, North Harbour faces Counties Manukau in Albany. Both sides need to win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Finally at 7;05pm, Tasman host South Island rivals Canterbury. The Mako will be desperate to win to stay within striking distance of Auckland, while a loss for Canterbury would put them in the drivers steal to finish bottom of the Premiership.
For full team lists, click here
Aucklad $1.03 Northaland $10.00
North Harbour $1.16 Counties Manukau $4.85
Tasman $1.17 Canterbury $4.85
Southland keeps season alive with victory over Otago
Southland kept their semi-final hopes alive with a rare 32-15 win over Otago on Friday night.
Coming into the contest everything was against Southland, who where on a five game losing streak. They hadn't beaten Otago at home since 2010 and Otago had won the last seven matches.
In a match played in front of a vocal crowd at Rugby Park in Invercargill, the Stags run-away four tries to two winners in a very entertaining contest.
After being down 15-10 at the break with Otago looking the better side, the home side came out on fire in the second-half scoring three unanswered tries to come away easy winners.
The win leaves Southland still in fifth position but moves just one point behind Taranaki in fourth place, while Otago remain at the top of the Premiership table.
Southland will travel to Pukekohe to take Counties Manukau next Friday in a match that will decide their season, while Otago returns home to take on Tasman.