Auckland has kept their top four chances alive in the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership by thrashing Southland 64-7 at Eden Park this afternoon.
It was the Auckland backline that made inroads into the Southland side as the blue and white hoops took a 24-0 lead to the break.
Caleb Clarke, Dalton Papali'i and Danny Tuistala all grabbed doubles, while Salesi Rayasi and Jordan Trainor questioned the defence for all 80 minutes as they stormed away in the second half.
Southland never really tested the Auckland side even though they had the penalty count in their favour, continuing a drought which has seen Southland not win a game in Auckland in 80 years.
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Southland is now locked in two-team race to avoid the wooden spoon in the Championship, alongside Northland, who play runaway Premiership leaders Tasman tomorrow.
In the Premiership, the win moves Auckland to one point behind fourth place Canterbury who take on Otago tonight, and two points behind third place North Harbour who beat Wellington on Friday night.
Auckland head to take on Taranaki next week, needing a win to keep their chances alive, while Canterbury takes on North Harbour to decide who will make the semifinals.
Auckland v Southland as it happened: