The Bay of Plenty Steamers backs were at their explosive best as they made the most of their opportunities and claimed a 31-17 win over Taranaki in New Plymouth.

It is the Steamers' fourth win from six games this season and has them sitting comfortably in second place, seven points behind Hawke's Bay in first.

Head coach Clayton McMillan said the game was scrappy at times and his side still need to be more consistent with their set piece but was pleased to see the backs excel.

"We gave the ball a little bit of air and it was good to see our outside backs express themselves and score some good tries.


"There are some talented guys out there for sure, a couple have been around for a little while and there are some young guys who have come through our system. It's great to know we have that level of pop out wide and the forwards are doing the grunt work up front."

Steamers back Chase Tiatia is one of those players blessed with an ability to make things happen and has been a standout all season. While he was named at fullback against Taranaki he was actually move into second five in an effort to get him more involved. Kaleb Trask was moved to fullback and Dan Hollinshead into first five.

"Chase makes things happen and has a good offload, he tests defences because you're never quite sure what he's going to do. We've been thinking about that move for about 12 months now but through injuries and a few other little things it hadn't quite happened yet.

Steamers winger Fa'asiu Fuatai goes in for a try against Taranaki. Photo / Getty Images
Steamers winger Fa'asiu Fuatai goes in for a try against Taranaki. Photo / Getty Images

"There were moments where it looked really good so we'll probably look to continue that. Having Kaleb at the back also gives us that ability to bring him into the front line at times when our 10 and 12 are tied up and that worked all right too."

Consistency at set piece time would be the focus this week at training.

"If we can get enough quality ball to the backs I think we're going be a pretty tough team to play but we're a little bit inconsistent there so there's still things to work on."