If Northland hadn't already announced themselves as contenders in the Mitre 10 Cup Championship, they have now after a dominant 37-7 win over Waikato.

Despite Toll Stadium not living up to the 'winterless north' moniker, Northland showed they weren't afraid to chance their arm, putting plenty of pressure on the travellers.

A Solomon Alaimalo instant classic opened the scoring as he glided through a small gap on halfway before leaving Waikato fullback Zac Guildford grasping at air on his way to the left hand corner.

Northland were taking the game to Waikato as the likes of wing Jordan Hyland, number eight Matt Matich and prop Ropate Tinakama were prominent.


The Taniwha turned down a penalty shot at the 20 minute mark in favour of a scrum and it paid off as the experienced Ross Wright burrowed over from close range.

Halfback Sam Nock showed incredible accuracy with his box-kicking, taking a particular liking to Waikato winger Tyler Campbell.

The weather packed in midway through the first sepll but it didn't minimise Northland's expansiveness with Hyland again finding space with consumate ease, they added three through Dan Hawkins after Waikato lock James Tucker dangerously tackled the first five.

Another penalty right before the break gave Northland an 18-0 buffer heading into the sheds.

Waikato came out from the break with the wind at their backs but it was Northland who were the aggressors as they put themselves in great field position on multiple occasions.

Northland's scrum was once again proving to be destructive as the Waikato unit couldn't match the intensity or technique of the Taniwha pack.

Waikato barely sniffed the Northland line before play inevitably wound up in their territory.

Northland finally reaped the rewards of their overbearing forward pack as a lineout maul resulted in a deserved try to flanker Jack Ram. Hawkins' conversion gave Northland an imposing 25-0 lead with 20 minutes to go.

The loose forward trio of Ram, Dan Pryor and Matich were a menace for Waikato all night, Matich in particular putting in an industrious shift.

Matich's opposite Jordan Manihera was comfortably Waikato's best player on the park, proving to be troublesome while the rest of his team faltered.

Despite holding a good lead, Northland didn't stop putting pressure on their opponents.

An errant pass from Waikato popped the ball loose which Murray Douglas pounced on, giving it wide to Jack Goodhue who put on a show and go to cross for the bonus point try after a fair amount of deliberation from the TMO.

Tim Blundell added the extras to extend the lead to 32-0.

Northland's defences finally broke after a break from Luke Jacobson found replacement flanker Adam Burn in space but it was little more than consolation.

Another break courtesy of the lead up work from Alaimalo put Northland in a position to give the Taniwha faithful another try and they duly did so as Alaimalo found a surging Jone Macilai in the corner, giving them a 37-7 win.

Northland 37 (Solomon Alaimalo, Ross Wright, Jack Ram, Jack Goodhue, Jone Macilai tries, Dan Hawkins 2 con, 2 pen, Tim Blundell con)
Waikato 7 (Adam Burn try, Matty Lansdown con)
HT: 18-0