Welling­ton edge Har­bour

Fiji Sun - - Sport -

Welling­ton 21 North Har­bour 17 Welling­ton: North Har­bour have yet to fully ex­or­cise the ghosts of 2014 and ‘15 against the Welling­ton Lions.

In a des­per­ate, fran­tic and of­ten er­ror­rid­den Cham­pi­onship clash in the cap­i­tal, Welling­ton could thank their 21-year-old first five Jack­son Gar­den-Ba­chop for the price­less four com­pe­ti­tion points. He slot­ted seven penalty goals from seven, while North Har­bour scored two tries and will pos­si­bly feel hard done by as they go 1-2 af­ter three rounds of the Mitre 10 Cup. The con­test was a far cry from the maul­ings in­flicted by the Lions in 2014, when Har­bour still har­boured a shot at the semi­fi­nals, and last sea­son in Albany when, in an ab­ject per­for­mance, they crashed 43-0. From the kick­off North Har­bour ripped into their work and put se­ri­ous heat on the Welling­ton de­fen­sive line. Their set-piece was sound, lock Chris Vui prom­i­nent in the air and James Par­sons even took a tight­head, though he will not be able to take credit for the hook. First five Matt McGa­han, look­ing briefly more like the con­fi­dent No 10 who won the Bronze Boot from the 2010 trans-Tas­man schools in­ter­na­tional, broke some weak tack­les to plough over for the open­ing try and a 10-0 lead. But soon af­ter­wards Gar­den-Ba­chop started swing­ing his right boot to telling ef­fect, even as the Lions strug­gled to re­dis­cover their at­tack­ing mojo. The break­down was messy, sides wrestling and kick­ing the ball through mak­ing for an un­tidy spec­ta­cle. Welling­ton will be in Pukekohe on Fri­day night for the Jonah Lomu Memo­rial Tro­phy clash with Coun­ties Manukau, while North Har­bour host Manawatu on Satur­day.

Mitre 10 Cup re­sults: Welling­ton 21-17 North Har­bour, Can­ter­bury 52-34 North­land, Tas­man 25-20 Taranaki, South­land 16-51 Auck­land, Hawkes Bay 20-48 Coun­ties Manukau. Stuff

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