Bay of Plenty have thrashed Hawke's Bay in Tauranga to claim the 'Battle of the Bays' bragging rights.

The 51-24 thumping saw the Magpies fall to their first loss of the season, with the Steamers coming to within three points of their rivals in the championship ladder.

The home side practically locked up the match with a huge first half, scoring 31 points.

The result also meant Hawke's Bay were denied locking up the top seed in the Mitre 10 Cup championship section.

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Bay of Plenty v Hawke's Bay as it happened: