Southland have blown a 26-7 halftime lead to sink to a 31-26 defeat to Manawatu - extending their three-year losing streak.

Having scored four first-half tries, it looked as if Southland would finally claim a win after 26 straight defeats, but two quick tries after the break through unwanted All Black Ngani Laumape put Manawatu right back within striking distance.

A further try to Rhys Pedersen and conversion from Otere Black put Manawatu in front, and Black added a penalty before Manawatu hung on for a remarkably unconvincing victory.

Southland pick up two bonus points for their efforts - their first points of the season - but remain anchored to the bottom of the Championship ladder. Manawatu sit in fifth.