Back-up Highlanders loose forward Gareth Evans was dynamic during Dunedin’s 48-25 shock win against Taieri.
The result meant a reshuffle at the top of the standings, as Harbour’s 32-17 win against Kaikorai was good enough for it to take pole position.
The Hawks won the battle up front through their menacing forward pack.
Southern escaped with a dramatic 23-22 win against the winless Alhambra-Union.
Green Island picked up its second win with a strong second-half effort to beat Zingari-Richmond 32-26, and University A thrashed Pirates 73-3.
Harbour makes the hard yards look easy and ground out a victory against Kaikorai at Watson Park to move to the top of the standings.
The Hawks have a menacing pack and that is where they were able to hurt Kaikorai.
The lineout functioned particularly well.
Hale T-Pole was a key man in the middle and Ben Whale was a pest at the front.
It was a lineout move which resulted in the first try.
T-Pole claimed the ball and passed to halfback Tala Fagasoaia, who drew the only defender on the blindside and off-loaded to Sekonaia Pole to score.
Fagasoaia was instrumental in the next.
He scooped the ball up from the base of the breakdown and ran through the middle before finding winger Jerome Harimate on the inside.
He left the field shortly after with an injury, having outclassed his Highlanders opposite Josh Renton, who was guilty of kicking aimlessly although he did clear the ruck quite sharply.
A sloppy clearance from Mitchell Purvis found the waiting arms of Sala Halaleva and the Harbour winger made two or three defenders look very average as he stepped and sprinted in the Hawks’ third try.
Aleki Morris bagged the bonus point try when he spun out of a tackle shortly before the break.
Kaikorai managed one try in the opening 40min when prop George Hendry crashed over, against the run of play.
The weather closed in during the second half and the game rather petered out.
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