Taranaki has defeated BOP 30-22 after an encouraging fight back by the Steamers in the last 15 minutes of play.
A try to Joe Tupe gave the big crowd at Tauranga Domain hope that the Steamers may get up to beat Taranaki in the final five minutes but it wasn't to be.
Still, the second half performance was very encouraging for Steamers fans and in the end they were unlucky to not claim a bonus point.
4pm: BOP Steamers have fought back into the match with 20 minutes left.
Taranaki lead 24 to 12.
BOP try scorers have been Lalakai Foketi and Te Rangi Fraser.
3.50pm: Taranaki have scored a third try and with a conversion the score stands at 21-0 to the Bulls.
Half-time: Taranaki lead BOP 14-0 at halftime in the big game at Tauranga Domain.
Taranaki scored twice in opening 12 minutes but since then BOP has managed to hold the score at 14-nil and have shown some positive signs on attack.
Taranaki forwards have dominated the scrums which is an area the Steamers must improve in the second half.
Dan Hollinshead, who went off injured in the first four minutes of play, has no head or neck injuries but suffered a concussion and would not be back in play for the rest of the game.
3pm: Bay of Plenty Steamers first five Dan Hollinshead was knocked out in the fourth minute making a tackle on a Taranaki player.
Play was held up for 10 minutes while he was attended to by the St Johns team.
Taranaki has opened the scoring with a try to Johnny Faauli.
Taranaki lead 7-nil after 20 minutes.
A reporter at the scene said The Domain was a "spectacular sight" with a big crowd and fans enjoying the action.
Play has kicked off between the Bay Steamers and Taranaki in front of a big crowd of fans.
There is blue and gold everywhere at Tauranga Domain in the Steamer's first match of the Mitre 10 Cup versus the Taranaki Bulls.
The Taranaki Bulls was New Zealand's fourth best team last year and victory against them has eluded the Steamers since 2006.
However, in an interview with the Bay of Plenty Times Steamers coach Clayton McMillan said he was happy overall with how the pre-season preparation has gone.
The Steamers side features eight new caps in the starting line-up including Scottish international Hugh Blake, former New Zealand U20 representatives James O'Reilly and Henry Stowers, All Blacks Sevens squad member Isaac Te Aute and Chiefs squad member Monty Ioane.
The Steamers will again be captained by lock Culum Retalick who is poised to become just the 17th player to play 100 games for the union.
The next Steamers home game is September 4, at Tauranga Domain versus Otago.
Read more: BOP Rugby extend coach McMillan's contract to 2019
BOP Steamers ready for Taranaki Bulls
Bay of Plenty team v Taranaki Tauranga Domain, Saturday, 2.35pm.
1. Solomona Sakalia
2. James O'Reilly*
3. Siegfried Fisi'ihoi
4. Shahn Eru
5. Culum Retallick ©
6. Henry Stowers*
7. Hugh Blake*
8. Joe Tupe
9. Te Aihe Toma
10. Dan Hollinshead
11. Isaac Te Aute*
12. Terrence Hepetema
13. Lalakai Foketi
14. Monty Ioane*
15. Chase Tiatia
16. Liam Polwart*
17. Aidan Ross
18. Pingi Tala'apitaga
19. Keepa Mewett
20. Jesse Parete*
21. Luke Campbell*
22. Kelly Haimona
23. Te Rangi Fraser
*Denotes Steamers debut