Welling­ton storm past Hawke’s Bay

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Feed­back: os­eab@fi­jisun.com.fj

Napier: An un­stop­pable sec­ond half per­for­mance from the Welling­ton Lions earned them re­venge for last year’s NPC Cham­pi­onship fi­nal loss against Hawke’s Bay.

Trail­ing 12-7 at the break, the Lions ran riot in the sec­ond half at McLean Park in Napier yesterday to win 36-26, re­vers­ing the loss they suf­fered to the same side at the same ground last year. Im­pres­sive young first-five Jack­son Gar­denBa­chop started the come­back, scor­ing a try inside the first five min­utes of the sec­ond half to give his side some much-needed im­pe­tus. He put right wing Joe Hill through a gap on the 22, with Hill fir­ing a re­turn pass back in his di­rec­tion. Know­ing he couldn’t catch it, Gar­den-Ba­chop kneed the ball for­ward and raced ahead to be first to the loose ball over the try­line. It sparked a dom­i­nant 25-minute pe­riod, which 29-year-old Welling­ton debu­tant Galu Ta­u­fale capped in mem­o­rable fash­ion. The blind­side flanker did good work in the buildup to get his side near the line be­fore the ball was spun out to the right. Fel­low debu­tant Pakai Turia then put in a beau­ti­ful cross-kick back out to the left, which found an un­marked Ta­u­fale to score in the cor­ner. A Gar­den-Ba­chop con­ver­sion from the side­line had his side up 22-12. Hawke’s Bay had lit­tle an­swer as Welling­ton surged back to­wards the line.

Other re­sults: Taranaki 30-22 Bay of Plenty, North Har­bour 20-17 Coun­ties Manukau, Welling­ton 36-26 Hawke’s Bay, Can­ter­bury 43-3 Auck­land. NZ Her­ald

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