Hora Hora continued their surge into the top four with a 36-22 win over Hikurangi in the latest round of the Bayleys Premier competition.
Stunning conditions greeted the two sides as the 18 degree warmth alluded to a day of running rugby.
It was obvious both sides were in the business of scoring tries as neither side elected to kick penalty goals from handy range early on.
Hora Hora made the initial breakthrough after standout fullback Dougie Te Puni made a big break off his practised right foot step to put first five Taz Taurima over for a try.
Hikurangi decided to take the next points on offer through first five Shay Currie.
Hora Hora scored again after another Te Puni burst for James Carleton's first try.
But Hikurangi fought back, probing with multiple phases.
Lock Jeremy Croft was heavily involved and led his side deep into Hora Hora territory.
Hora Hora conceded penalty after penalty and finally paid the price as flanker John Dunn was given a 10-minute spell.
The visitors finally cracked the Hora Hora line through fullback Nopera Matthews before he laid another one on to give his side a 15-14 lead going into the break.
Hora Hora were under the pump at this point. Their captain and hooker Alan Nesbit left the field with an injury midway through the first spell while coach Doug Te Puni was away.
But if anything that galvanised them as winger Jone Tuidraki immediately gave Hora Hora the lead with a strong try.
In a pivotal moment in the match, Hikurangi were on the charge deep in Hora Hora territory hoping to turn the six point deficit around.
But Dougie Te Puni once again showed his class, grabbing an intercept and racing 80m to score.
Hikurangi fought their way back into the match with a late try which made the last few minutes tense.
But it was Hora Hora who took the spoils as Carleton iced the match with his second five-pointer.
This added to the fight for finals positions which is getting more intense by the week.
Waipu picked up a huge victory as they defeated Western Sharks 38-21.
Waipu have regained their early season form and kept a tough Sharks outfit at bay. The Sharks now drop out of the top four with Waipu's and Hora Hora's victories.
Kamo, meanwhile, did their hopes no damage with an outstanding attacking display against Otamatea.
Needing the win to keep pace, Kamo showed the ruthless finishing ability required to make noise as they steamrolled their way to a 90-3 victory.
Wellsford provided the upset of the season as they ended Old Boys Marist's unbeaten run with a 29-27 victory.
Buoyed by the appearance of former Northland captain Rene Ranger, Wellsford built on their tight loss to Mid Northern to take away a highly impressive win over the front runners.
Mid Northern meanwhile picked up a 26-8 win over Mid Western to keep their spot in the top two well and truly secure.
Hora Hora 36 Hikurangi 22; Mid Northern 26 Mid Western 8; Wellsford 29 OBM 27; Kamo 90 Otamatea 3; Waipu 38 Western Sharks 21.
Hikurangi 22 Hora Hora 17; OBM 51 Wellsford 10; Kamo 72 Otamatea 7; Waipu 60 Western Sharks 17; Mid Northern v Mid Western to be played.
Bay of Islands:
Kaeo 54 Otiria 10; Moerewa 60 Kerikeri 5; Kaikohe 24 Ohaeawai/Okaihau 22.
Te Rarawa 14 Kaitaia 10; Eastern 67 Panguru 12; Awanui - bye.
Kaihu 63 Mangakahia 0; Whangaruru won by default by Tomorata.