Harbour brushed aside Southern 39-0 in the mud at Bathgate Park to consolidate top spot.
But the big mover was Taieri. It beat Kaikorai 28-12 at Peter Johnstone Park to move into third place.
Green Island is in second. It accounted for Zingari-Richmond 29-10 in an uninspiring match at Miller Park.
University was too good for Dunedin at Kettle Park. Its 29-7 win was good enough for it to move to fourth equal with Kaikorai.
Harbour 39 Southern 0
Harbour 39. Southern 0.
Says it all, right?
Actually the Magpies had a small edge in the scrums. They had the better of the lineouts.
But they really dominated in silly mistakes.
Both sides coughed up ball. It was that kind of day.
The conditions were wet. The surface was greasy. It is not a great recipe for running rugby.
But Southern’s tactical kicking game belonged a couple of grades down.
The general idea of kicking for touch is to get it across the sideline – not the dead ball line or into the fullback’s hands.
It was a poor kick which created the first scoring opportunity.
The Hawks spun it quickly to the left to set up a one-on-one for Mone Palu.
He bumped his opponent off a little too easily.
The only other points in the half came from the boot of Logan Allen.
Harbour led 8-0 at the break and the game was in the balance.
But the Hawks were more accurate when it counted.
Centre Aleki Morris grabbed two tries. Openside flanker James Tomkinson also got on the scoreboard.
He was a terrier over the ball.
His effort was perhaps best captured by a stunning play at the end.
Southern had a 5m scrum.
The ball got hooked hard and scooted out the back.
Tomkinson peeled off and won the drag race to the ball.
The Hawks quickly swung it to the left. Palu got clear and scored a tremendous try.
The Hawks next take on Green Island at Watson Park on Saturday which will be an interesting encounter as Green Island has lost twice since they last played.