Life after break to down Waikato
were ferocious but Waikato’s line was breached after 35 minutes when Lions lock Sam Lousi ducked and dived over to score.
That sparked Waikato into life as Bailyn Sullivan hit back for the Mooloos immediately to level the scores at 10-10 at halftime.
Wellington wasted good territory when the players returned but they came roaring back when Dan Kirkpatrick, starting ahead of Jackson Garden-Bachop, went over after Ben Lam sliced through Waikato’s line.
The Mooloos meekly fell off tackles but Wellington just couldn’t pull clear. Their poor discipline, which saw two Lions sinbinned, gave Waikato a sniff and Regan Verney’s yellow card after 56 minutes left Wellington pinned in their 22.
But Waikato made an awful error, spilling the ball from one deep Wellington kick, and the Lions got a roll on, scoring quick tries through Kafatolu, UmagaJensen and Aumua.
Wellington openside flanker Du’Plessis Kirifi, who is technically classified as a ‘loan player’ from Waikato, put himself about in challenging some former team-mates from his days in Waikato’s under-19s.
Wellington finished like a team full of confidence to clinically score twice with a man down and condemn Waikato to a fourth consecutive defeat ahead of the Mooloos challenging Canterbury for the Ranfurly Shield next Saturday.
Lions lock Sam Lousi tests out the Waikato defence.