Welling­ton storm to win

Manawatu Standard - - SPORT - RUGBY

Not even seem­ingly un­beat­able Can­ter­bury are im­mune from the quick backup in rugby’s Mitre 10 Cup.

Four days after top­ping 70 points in a Ran­furly Shield de­fence against Coun­ties Manukau, the run­away red-and­blacks were given some cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment by Welling­ton to wrap up week five.

Cap­tained by Ju­lian Savea for the first time, Welling­ton pro­duced a stun­ning 60-14 win over Can­ter­bury as a storm whipped through West­pac Sta­dium on Sun­day.

A long-range Savea try from a Jack­son Gar­den-ba­chop in­ter­cept, then a stun­ner from hooker-of-the-mo­ment Asafo Au­mua, saw Welling­ton lead 17-7 at half­time be­fore two charge­down tries saw them bolt to 31-7 with 30 min­utes left.

While his side were at times lack­ing di­rec­tion in their lat­est con­test, they man­aged to march on to a fourth win from five

starts, se­cure a bonus point, and sit third on the pre­mier­ship lad­der.

One point ahead of the Naki are the five-from-five North Har­bour, who got out of jail for a 31-22 win over North­land in Whangarei on Thursday night.

Har­bour had been well be­low what they had showed prior in this cam­paign, but, even after trail­ing 22-17 with seven min­utes to play, man­aged to keep their un­beaten start to the sea­son in­tact, as Ben Volavola sliced through, then Matt Vaega plucked an in­ter­cept for a 40-me­tre run­away.

Waikato are next to chal­lenge

Can­ter­bury for the shield but their form has tailed off big time after los­ing a third straight game - 23-10 to cham­pi­onship side Manawatu¯ in Hamil­ton.

The Mooloos led 10-3 near­ing the hour-mark, but a try off the back of a pow­er­ful scrum from Hamish Brewer - son of for­mer All Black Mike - then the boot of Jade Te Rure guided the Tur­bos to vic­tory, and into fourth spot on the cham­pi­onship lad­der.

Waikato, hav­ing played one more game than the three teams above them, now sit fifth in the pre­mier­ship, and even Auck­land are only now three points back, after they notched just their sec­ond win from six starts in a 27-17 re­sult over South­land in In­ver­cargill on Fri­day night.

The hosts opened the scor­ing after just three min­utes, but they re­main the only win­less team in the com­pe­ti­tion - rooted to the bot­tom of the cham­pi­onship lad­der on zero points - as All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino got the vis­i­tors’ ac­count started, with Auck­land go­ing on to col­lect the bonus point.

Tas­man climbed into fourth spot on the pre­mier­ship lad­der after hold­ing on for a dra­matic 29-27 win over Otago in Dunedin on Satur­day.

The Makos were up 29-13 early in the sec­ond spell thanks to ref­eree Mike Fraser award­ing a penalty try and sin-bin­ning Otago first five-eighth Josh Ioane for an in­ten­tional knock­down.

In the early game yes­ter­day, Coun­ties Manukau re­bounded from their mid­week thrash­ing to score five tries, in­clud­ing a Tim Nanai-wil­liams dou­ble, to beat strug­gling Hawke’s Bay 33-14.

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