After losing the Ranfurly Shield during the week, Taranaki took out their frustration on Southland as they rolled the Stags over 47-18 in their ITM match at Rugby Park Stadium in Invercargill this afternoon (Sun).
Taranaki put all their energy in to defending the Log of Wood this season, but Waikato romped past the Amber and Blacks on Wednesday night to take one of the most well-known prizes in New Zealand rugby and Taranaki were clearly hurt by the loss.
But, with their eyes on a home semifinal in the ITM Cup Premiership, they fought back from a 15-6 half-time deficit to power home against a hapless Stags outfit who committed a number of errors throughout the contest.
Southland came in to the game on the back of an 84-0 loss to Canterbury last weekend and Stags skipper Jamie Mackintosh took the unusual step during the week of penning an apology letter to the local newspaper on behalf of the team.
They tried to make up for the Cantabrian nightmare and looked the better side for the opening half as veteran utility back Matt Saunders found the tryline, while teenage halfback Tayler Adams also dotted down and Scott Eade booted a penalty and conversion.
Sadly that was as good as it got for the Stags as a rampant Taranaki team scored five second-half tries with backs James Marshall, Jayden Hayward, Frazier Climo and Jackson Ormond all getting in on the act.
Marshall finished with a double and was dangerous throughout the game from fullback, while Climo produced a fine individual display, including a perfect nine from nine off the tee.
Hayward joined the fray from the bench in the second spell and the No 12 provided plenty of impetus in attack and his 50m solo effort was one of the more impressive sights of the afternoon.
Taranaki round out their regular season campaign when they meet Wellington in the capital on Sunday, while Southland wrap up their regular season when they host fellow Championship side Manawatu in the deep south on Friday.
Taranaki 47 (James Marshall 2, Jayden Hayward, Frazier Climo, Jackson Ormond tries; Climo 5 con, 4 pens) Southland 18 (Matt Saunders, Tayler Adams tries; Scott Eade 2 pen, con) HT: 6-15