Manawatu were unable to continue their winning streak, falling 26-16 to North Harbour on Sunday.
The Turbos had their moments in a match that could have gone any way until the final five minutes when Harbour sealed the deal with a try to Fine Inisi.
But it was the Turbos who struck first, early in the first half when Adam Boult crashed over after some prolonged pressure.
From there, they were punished by the slick attack of North Harbour's outsides with Asaeli Tikoirotuma and Mike Telea shining.
The Turbos stuck in the game through two Otere Black penalties and trialled by just one point at the break.
A number of Turbos breaks were left unfinished with halfback Jamie Booth twice cut down with no supporting players near enough to collect what would have been passes to set up tries.
Black bagged the Turbos' second try of the match to keep them in the game in the second half.
With Harbour leading 24-16 heading into the final 10 minutes, there was still a chance for the Turbos, who by that stage had lost Boult, Rob Thompson, Fraser Stone and Booth to injuries.
They were unable to cross the chalk, although Paulo Leleisiauo did manage a handy linebreak.
Inisi sealed the match for Harbour, leaving the Turbos with plenty of work to do for the remaining two weeks of the competition.
North Harbour 29 (Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Sione Mafileo, Matt Duffie, Mark Telea, Fine Inisi tries; Matt McGahan 2 con) Manawatū 16 (Adam Boult, Otere Black tries; Black 2 pen) HT 12-11.