Welling­ton storm to vic­tory Can­ter­bury stunned by rag­ing Lions

The Press - - Sport -

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.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Hooker Asafo Au­mua leaves Can­ter­bury full­back Ge­orge Bridge in his wake in a stun­ning first-half try for Welling­ton.

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