Taranaki claimed their fifth successive ITM Cup win with a 31-20 victory against Northland on Thursday.
The win temporarily lifted Taranaki above Canterbury at the top of the premiership ladder.
Canterbury however, will reclaim the No.1 position if they beat Counties Manukau on Friday.
It took the amber and blacks some time to wear down the dogged Northlanders.
But eventually the sheer weight of possession and territorial advantage told on the home side and Taranaki were able to score two late tries through Blade Thomson and Waisake Naholo to claim a four-try bonus point.
A rare dark spot for Taranaki was an injury to winger Kurt Baker, hurt in a lifting tackle by Northland opposite Jone Macilai which earned the Taniwha player a spell in the sin bin.
The home side themselves lost vastly experienced skipper Cam Eyre four minutes before the break with a knee injury.