Hawke's Bay 45
Hawke's Bay were relegated to the ITM Cup's Championship division for this year but they don't look like they intend on staying there long.
The Magpies made light work of Manawatu 45-18 in Napier this afternoon on the back of some entertaining play from their power-packed backline.
Hawke's Bay have a host of Super Rugby players at their disposal and simply had far too much class for a Manawatu side who lacked structure among their back division and missed too many tackles.
Young Hawke's Bay pivot Ihaia West ran the show nicely and got his name in the try-scorer's column in the second spell as he ghosted through a huge gap, which was an all too frequent sight for Manawatu fans.
West was one of seven Hawke's Bay players to find their way across the stripe and coaches Craig Philpott and Danny Lee had the luxury of emptying their bench with plenty of time to go in the second half given the size of their lead.
Manawatu were industrious but lacked some quality in key areas, while their backs needed more creativity with ball in hand.
Turbos hooker Rob Foreman produced another workman-like shift as he played his 100th consecutive first-class match after beginning his career with Wairarapa-Bush in 2004.
Manawatu were beaten at scrum-time, while Hawke's Bay lock Mark Abbott was a menace in the lineouts throughout the contest and No 8 Mark Atkins had some nice touches.
Earlier, Hawke's Bay made a shaky start to the contest with unforced errors and ill-discipline allowing Manawatu to ease out to an early 6-0 lead via the boot of Manawatu debutant Jade Te Rure.
The young pivot, a New Zealand under-20s representative, looked comfortable on the kicking tee but that was as good as it got in the first spell for a keen Manawatu side.
Once the Turbos started falling off tackles, Hawke's Bay took full advantage as the home side laid on tries through Brendon O'Connor, Gillies Kaka and Telusa Veainu.
Veainu's effort was particularly impressive as the right wing produced some sharp individual magic in his first game for the Magpies after moving north from Canterbury.
Hawke's Bay enjoyed a massive territory advantage during the first 40 minutes, which allowed them to attack at will.
The second spell produced more of the same as the Magpies sent a stern message to their Championship rivals.
Hawke's Bay 45 (Brendon O'Connor, Gillies Kaka, Telusa Veainu, Zac Guildford, Alby Mathewson, Ihaia West, Karl Lowe tries; West 5 con) Manawatu 18 (Lewis Marshall, Bryn Templeman tries; Jade Te Rure 2 pen, con) HT: 19-6