Wellington followed up their shock victory against Auckland with an unconvincing 11-3 victory over Manawatu in Palmerston North.
The visitors had all the ball, but could only score one try against the New Zealand Cup minnows.
Manawatu, with the wind at their backs, led 3-0 at the break, but Tamati Ellison kicked over a couple of penalties before Conrad Smith scored a crucial try from turnover ball.
In Saturday’s other game, competition rookies Tasman were unable to provide the finishing touches in a 17-23 defeat to Bay of Plenty.
It was two tries each, but the boot of Steamers flyhalf Mike Delany proved the difference as the Bay boys scored their second win of the Pool A round-robin section.
Manawatu - Penalty: Graham Smith.
Wellington - Try: Conrad Smith. Penalties: Tamati Ellison (2).
Tasman - Tries: Ben Gollings, Aaron Kimura. Conversions: Gollings, Kimura. Penalty: Tim Taylor.
Bay of Plenty - Tries: Jamie Nutbrown, Anthony Tahana. Conversions: Mike Delany (2). Penalties: Delany (3).