It took until the last play of the game, but Bay of Plenty have put their decade-long drought against Wellington to rest.
In a thrilling affair in Rotorua, the boot of Steamers first five-eighth Otere Black was the decider, slotting a game-ending conversion to lift his side to a 33-32 win.
It was looking like it would be one that got away from the hosts inside the final moments, after Wellington scored three tries in a seven-minute span to turn a 26-17 deficit into a 32-26 lead with just five minutes remaining.
With just one of Wellington's six tries being converted, Bay of Plenty still had a chance to steal the win at the death. After a messy few minutes, they got their opportunity after with a lineout about 10 metres out from the Wellington tryline.
Moving quickly, the Steamers looked to catch Wellington off guard, and did enough to catch one of the Wellington players offside, calling for a scrum with the ensuing penalty from five metres out. After the hooter sounded, halfback Luke Campbell scurried off the back of the scrum to attack space on the right side of the field, with a tidy offload sending winger Emoni Narawa in for the try. Black made no mistake with the kick from close range, and Bay of Plenty secured the win and Wellington slummed to their fourth straight loss to sit with a 1-4 record.
In Palmerston North, Manawatū saw their strong form continue as they dispatched Otago 27-14 for their third win in four games.
The Turbos never trailed, setting the tone inside the opening 10 minutes with Tima Fainga'anuku finishing off a break by No 8 Brayden Iose – who impressed throughout the contest.
It was the first of three tries for the hosts, while one-time All Blacks first five-eighth Brett Cameron was locked in from the tee and converted all three tries while adding another two penalties.
Trailing 17-7 at the break, Otago struggled to close that gap. It looked like they might have a chance late after James Lentjes crashed over from the back of a lineout drive following a scrum penalty – which saw Turbos prop Flyn Yates yellow carded due to continued penalties. However, despite have the numbers advantage for most of the last 15 minutes, Otago couldn't crack the Manawatū defence again.
Manawatū now sit second in the Championship standings, trailing Taranaki who remain undefeated with no game this weekend, while Otago have dropped back to fifth.
In the Farah Palmer Cup, Waikato have earned their chance at revenge on Canterbury, with their 26-10 win over Wellington in Hamilton booking a rematch of last year's final.
While neither team could field their Black Ferns due to the impending end of year tour – with nine unavailable for Waikato and three for Wellington - discipline was where the game was decided, with three Wellington players shown yellow cards in the second half.
It gave Waikato the chance to pull away after the sides were level at 3-3 through the first 40 minutes. They didn't waste it, scoring three tries to Wellington's one to cruise to victory and book their place in next weekend's final in Christchurch.