By the end of Sunday afternoon both Bay of Plenty senior rep teams had conceded more than 50 points.
The curtain raiser to the big dance between the Steamers and Makos saw Bay of Plenty Development take on their ITM Cup counterparts from North Harbour.
Harbour ran in eight tries in beating Bay of Plenty 57-43 with most issues for the Bay surrounding their leaky defence. They also made too many unforced errors and there could be no excuse for dropped passes in such glorious playing conditions.
Harbour opened the scoring with a penalty but Nick Evemy equalised immediately after a strong run from lock Nick Turnbull. But that just sparked the visitors into life, as they scored two fine tries in six minutes. The second of those started from a turnover just out from their own line and ended with a seven pointer after a sweeping move.
Bay of Plenty closed the gap to 15-10 with a converted try to Evemy, who showed his special skills to slip through the defence.
Harbour skipped out to 22-10 after they found another hole in the Bay backline. It got worse before the break when a charged clearing kick fell into the Harbour hooker's arms for a simple try, and then Harbour stretched Bay's defence on their right hand edge.
Winger Mason Walker scored a well-worked try right on half-time and his Mount teammate Danny Kayes scored in the opening play of the second spell to get the Bay back in the game trailing 34-22. But a simple missed tackle let Harbour in to regain their margin and the initiative they never relinquished.
Harbour's backs looked good, really good, as they ran further tries in at will. Evemy and Walker scored their second tries for the Bay, and replacement Arron Carroll one in injury time to make the score respectable.
Bay of Plenty Development 43 (Nick Evemy 2, Mason Walker 2, Danny Kayes, Arron Carroll tries; Evemy 5 con, pen)
North Harbour Development 57 (Jona Tuitoga 2, Josh York 2, Adrian Smith, Leigh Thompson, Tim Blundell, Ritchie Ah-Chong tries; Blundell 4 cons, 3 pens).