A look at the 37-point spread on the final scoreline between Tasman and Southland would lead to the conclusion that it was a clinical outing by the Premiership-contending Mako.
For the final half hour, it was. For the opening 50 minutes, it was far from it.
While Tasman, who claimed a 47-10 win, dominated in terms of possession and territory, poor handling and execution inside the Southland 22 meant that after the opening 40 minutes, they only had a solitary try to show for spending the vast majority of the half inside Southland territory.
A Southland penalty goal late in the first half saw the gap at just four points at the break, but it was extended again soon after play restarted when Tasman fullback David Havili crossed for his first of the day.
It should have been the spark Tasman needed to go on with the job, but instead Southland secured a turnover from the kick-off and hit right back when loose forward Tony Lamborn crossed just two minutes later.
Instead, it was midfielder Fetuli Paea's 55th minute effort that launched Tasman into another gear, as they ran in five tries in the final half an hour to push the scoreline to a flattering margin.
It was a similar story when Wellington visited Counties Manukau. While the visitors came away with a 53-20 win, Counties Manukau would feel like they deserved at least a closer scoreline at the final whistle.
The hosts had the better of the opening 40 minutes despite falling behind early, and went into the break with a slim 13-11 advantage – which they extended by another seven points a minute into the second half.
It was, however, the final scoring play for Counties as Wellington charged home on the back of strong play from forwards Teariki Ben-Nicholas and Vaea Fifita, who carried the ball strongly and worked hard at the breakdown, setting the platform for the rest of their team to match.
The Lions ran in with six unanswered tries in the final 38 minutes, securing a bonus point and giving their points differential a healthy boost.
The final game of the day was a much more competitive affair, with Waikato edging Taranaki 27-20 in Hamilton.
In a tight contest, the sides traded blows throughout the 80 minutes, with Waikato holding off a late Taranaki charge at the death to hang on to the points.
With the win, they move to the top of the Premiership, while Taranaki sit fourth in the Championship.
It was the second win of the day for Waikato, after their Farah Palmer Cup team booked their spot in the final with an impressive 31-14 win over Manawatū. They will take on Canterbury in Saturday's final.