Wellington storm to victory Canterbury stunned by raging Lions
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-and-blacks 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 yesterday.
At a glance
Week five scores: ❚ Canterbury 78 (Mitchell Drummond 4, Tim Bateman 3, Braydon Ennor, Rob Thompson, Poasa Waqanibau, Josh McKay tries; Richie Mo’unga 10 con, pen) Counties Manukau 5 (Nigel Ah Wong try). HT: 43-0. ❚ North Harbour 31 (Tevita Li, Bryn Gatland, Ben Volavola tries; Matt Vaega 2 con, 4 pen) Northland 22 (Jordan Hyland try; Peter Breen con, 2 pen, Dan Hawkins 3 pen). HT: 9-9. ❚ Auckland 27 (Jerome Kaino, Vince Aso, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Taleni Seu tries; Jono Hickey 2 con, pen) Southland 17 (Brayden Mitchell, Liam Howley tries; Scott Eade 2 con, pen). HT: 15-14. ❚ Taranaki 29 (Declan O’Donnell, Mitchell Graham, Manasa Mataele, Sione Lea tries; Marty McKenzie 3 con, pen) Bay of Plenty 7 (Elijah Nicholas try; Mike Delaney con). HT: 8-0. ❚ Manawatu¯ 23 (Jamie Booth, Harrison Brewer tries; Jade Te Rure 2 con, 3 pen) Waikato 10 (Pita Ahki, Samisoni Taukei’aho tries). HT: 3-5. ❚ Tasman 29 (Will Jordan, James Lowe, Levi Aumua tries, penalty try; Mitch Hunt 2 con, pen) Otago 27 (Teihorangi Walden, Sio Tomkinson, Sione Teu tries, Fletcher Smith 3 con, 2 pen). HT: 22-13. ❚ Counties Manukau 33 (Tim Nanai-Williams 2, Fotu Lokotui, Johnny Kawau, Kalolo Tuiloma tries; Baden Kerr 3 con, Luteru Laulala con) Hawke’s Bay 14 (Ash Dixon, Pasqualle Dunn tries; Ihaia West 2 con). HT: 7-7. ❚ Wellington 60 (Malo Tuitama 2, Julian Savea, Asafo Aumua, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Ben Lam, Regan Verney tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop 7 con, 2 pen) Canterbury 14 (Josh McKay, George Bridge tries; Richie Mo’unga 2 con). HT: 17-7. Points: ❚ Premiership: Canterbury 25, North Harbour 22, Taranaki 21, Tasman 15, Waikato 14, Auckland 11, Counties Manukau 10. ❚ Championship: Wellington 27, Northland 16, Otago 14, Manawatu¯ 11, Bay of Plenty 10, Hawke’s Bay 5, Southland 0.
A long-range Savea try from a Jackson Garden-Bachop intercept, then a stunner from hooker-of-themoment Asafo Aumua, saw Wellington lead 17-7 at halftime before two chargedown tries saw them bolt to a 31-7 lead with 30 minutes left to play.
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 on Saturday.
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 sinbinning Otago first five-eighth Josh Ioane for an intentional knock-down.
In the early game yesterday, Counties Manukau rebounded from their midweek thrashing in the shield challenge to score five tries, including a Tim NanaiWilliams double, to beat struggling Hawke’s Bay 33-14.
Hooker Asafo Aumua leaves Canterbury fullback George Bridge in his wake in a stunning first-half try for Wellington.