If you weren't a believer in the Taniwha before Saturday night, you surely are now.

Led by a dominant set-piece effort from the pack, Northland battered Waikato around the park to the tune of a 37-7 Mitre 10 Cup crossover victory at Toll Stadium.

This was Northland's third win from four outings this season but in many ways this was their statement game.

Northland made a much vaunted forward pack retreat at scrum time with ease while their backline again showed their trademark flair.


But it was the forward pack and, in particular, the front row of Ross Wright, Matt Moulds and Ropate Rinakama who won Northland the game.

Moulds said some ferocious training sessions had set them up to compete in that area.

"The boys have been working really hard on the set-piece right from the preseason into the games and I know a few of us front rowers have had popped ribs in our own sessions so there's a fair bit of pressure in there," he said.

"We're working really hard and it's great to see it pay off in the games."

Add to the imposing scrum a vicious gale and Waikato could barely make it out of their own half.

Fullback Solomon Alaimalo left former All Black Zac Guildford clutching at straws to score the first try of the afternoon before the aggressive nature of Northland paid dividends as Wright crashed over.

Moulds admitted the toss was helpful in their cause.

"It was a pretty good toss to win with the wind as it was in the first half," he said.

"I knew it was going to die down so I guess that allowed us to exit our half easier but we really came to play."

The crowd, despite the rain and wind, turned out in good numbers and Moulds said that always gave the Taniwha a boost.

"We love our crowd up here," he said.

"When we got a couple of those scrum penalties and turnovers and then standing up to hear the crowd going off, mate there's nothing better. It was awesome!"

Northland were equally impressive in the second stanza as they continued to mount pressure on the Premiership side. After constantly pressuring the Waikato line they were rewarded through a Jack Ram close-range effort.

Jack Goodhue picked up a great try after an errant Waikato pass as they continuously struggled with the swarming pressure Northland's defence placed on them, while Jone Macilai scored his fourth try in four games right at the end.

An Adam Burn late try was the only blip in what was one of the best performances Northland have put out in recent memory.

The loose forward trio of Matt Matich, Dan Pryor and Ram were again brilliant as were locks Tim Bond and Murray Douglas, while halfback Sam Nock continued to show he is one to watch.

Moulds said with the rest of the campaign still to play, they had to keep putting a strong foot forward.

"We're trying to keep this momentum we've got going and growing our game each and every week. It's got a good feel to it this year," he said.

"The culture is awesome in this Tani's team and we can't wait to get back out there and play again."

Their next outing is at home to the similarly trending North Harbour, who have proven to be a team to watch.

But if Northland continue to put in similar performances going forward, there won't be many teams looking forward to facing the Cambridge Blue-clad unit.

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