The Wellington Lions have moved back to third on the Mitre 10 Cup premiership table after an emphatic 49-7 win over Manawatu in Palmerston North this afternoon.
The Lions are equal on points with Canterbury and one point behind second placed Tasman after their seventh match.
The fight for a top two place will really heat up in Wellington on Saturday night when the Lions host Tasman - the two sides coming off differing wins on Sunday.
While the Lions were dominant, Tasman only snuck past Counties Manukau but Saturday's match at Westpac Stadium promises to be a highlight on the premiership schedule.
Manawatu struggled to contain the Lions from the outset as the visitors got on the front foot and showed plenty of intent as forwards and backs worked well together as the Turbos were stretched on numerous occasions.
That saw the Lions cross five times in the first half playing into a stiff breeze, conditions which Jackson Garden-Bachop struggled with off the tee.
The second half started just as well as Asafo Aumua crossed five minutes in before a host of changes and some stubborn defence slowed the scoring.
That was until the last couple of minutes when the Lions ran in two tries to inflate the score out to 49-7.
By the end wing Ben Lam had crossed twice, while there was a host of other impressive performers.
Wellington 49 (Ben Lam 2, Thomas Waldrom, Mateaki Kafatolu, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, James Blackwell, Asafo Aumua, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Peter Umaga-Jensen tries; Trent Renata 2 con) Manawatu 7 (Brice Henderson try; Sam Malcolm con). HT: 25-0.