NORTHLAND 66 HAWKE'S BAY 12
Northland took just 10 minutes to give conclusive evidence of the wide gulf between first and second division rugby when they left Hawke's Bay's challenge by the wayside today.
They scored 10 tries to two to beat the second division champions 66-12 in the promotion-relegation match at Napier.
Though Hawke's Bay were a cut above the rest in their division, they were no match, even though it was their first defeat in the championship this season, for Northland, who had finished at the bottom of the first division,
First five-eighth Jared Going and second-five Jason Shoemark scored a try each and James Arlidge converted both to put Northland on the way to victory within 10 minutes of the kickoff.
It was clear from then that Northland would run away with the game and retain their first division status quite easily.
By halftime Northland had scored six converted tries, with Fijian winger Fero Lasagavibau crossing for three and Shoemark for two, to lead 42-0.
Arlidge kicked eight conversions from nine attempts and he left the last one to retiring captain Glenn Taylor, who missed from close to the touchline.
Northland 66 (Fero Lasagavibau 3, Jason Shoemark 2, Jared Going, Matt Faleuka, Mose Tuiali'i, Josh Levi, Aaron Baigent tries; James Arlidge 8 con)
Hawke's Bay 12 (Penalty try, Donovan Hall tries; Colin Bourke con)