Auckland have beaten Otago 39-11 in their national provincial rugby clash at Eden Park this afternoon sealing Auckland's place in the top four of the ITM Cup and moving the blue and whites one step closer to securing a home semi-final.
The Auckland backline proved too much for Otago to handle with centre Isaia Toeava doing his best to win a spot on the All Black's end of year tour with a strong performance.
The losing captain Otago's Alando Soakai says they simply couldn't match Auckland's aggression at the breakdown.
Auckland moved to second equal on the points ladder with the bonus point win while Otago lie firmly at the bottom of the table.
In Sunday's other match Hawkes Bay came from behind to beat North Harbour 36-21 in Napier, however the win wasn't enough to push the Magpies into the vital top seven of the ITM Cup with North Harbour also languishing in the bottom half of the draw.