Bay of Plenty have earned a shot at Wellington for a place in next year's rugby's premiership division with a 48-32 championship semi-final win over Otago in Tauranga on Saturday.

They'll face the overwhelming favourites Wellington at home next weekend after the Lions accounted for Northland 49-21 in Friday's first semi-final.

Well-steered by new Crusaders signing Mike Delany at No.10, the Steamers were kept honest by a never-say-die Otago outfit, eventually taking out the win six tries to four.

Bay skipper Keepa Mewett said a blustery wind had made conditions challenging.


"The kick-off receives and the line-outs were really challenging in this wind was pretty tough but I knew if we could just tighten up a little bit, we could unleash the boys out wide," he said.

Bay of Plenty were all business from the first whistle, well-organised defensively and quick to capitalise on an error-ridden start by the visitors.

The Bay's back three were an ever-present threat, featuring in all three of their first-half tries as they opened out to a 22-11 half-time lead.

Wing Joe Webber snatched the first after 15 minutes, diving over in the corner for his fifth try of the season.

Centre Lalakai Foketi crossed for the first of his two tries 10 minutes later, pouncing on a wayward pass as Otago tried to run the ball from inside their own 22.

Otago hauled one back through skipper Sam Anderson-Heather five minutes later, but the Bay had the last say when Foketi scored right on half-time.

The visitors hit back early from the restart, No.8 Sione Teu barging over after the Steamers lost flanker Hugh Blake for 10 minutes after an offside infringement at the ruck.

Tries to Henry Stowers and Terence Hepetema for the Bay were offset by an outstanding individual effort from Otago's 19-year-old All Blacks Sevens star Vilimoni Koroi and a late five-pointer from Teihorangi Walden.

The game wrapped up in unusual style, Otago winger Latu Vaeno yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on and Bay of Plenty awarded a penalty try.