Wellington returned to the top of the ITM Cup table after claiming a convincing 40-8 victory over Southland on Sunday.
Wellington returned to the top of the ITM Cup table after claiming a convincing 40-8 victory over Southland at the Westpac Stadium on Sunday.
The home side controlled proceedings from the outset and raced into a 16-3 lead after 20 minutes.
This was largely due to the boot of Jason Woodward who landed three penalties but a well-taken try by Alipate Leiua who charged down a Jimmy Cowan clearance put daylight between them and the visitors.
Wellington scored another try in the 33rd minute when Leiua went on a bullocking run before offloading to Ardie Savea who got in for an easy-run-in.
Woodward converted which meant the Lions were leading 23-3 at half-time with Southland's only points coming via a penalty from Marty McKenzie.
Southland centre Cardiff Vaega scored his team's only try soon after the restart but Wellington turned on the style during the rest of the half with Leiua and Savea both dotting down again and Dane Coles also crossed the whitewash late in the match.
Tries: Leiua 2, A Savea 2, Coles
Cons: Woodward 3
Pens: Woodward 3
Wellington: 15 Jason Woodward, 4 Alipate Leiua, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Matt Proctor, 10 Tim Bateman, 9 Frae Wilson, 8 Genesis Mamea, Ardie Savea, 6 Lua Lokotui, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush (c), 3 Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Arden David-Perrot.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Solomon Sakalia, 18 Whetu Henry, 19 Serge Lilo, 20 Kayne Hammington, 21 Joe Latta, 22 Ope Peleseuma.
Southland: 15 Marty McKenzie, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Nathan Hohaia, 12 Cardiff Vaega, 11 Tim Cornforth, 10 Robbie Robinson, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Hoani MacDonald, 7 Alex Taylor, 6 Brayden Mitchell, 5 Alex Ryan, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Nick Barrett, 2 Talemaitoga Taupati, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (c).
Replacements: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Tukiterangi Raimona, 18 Ben Nally, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Nemia Kenatale, 21 Matt Saunders, 22 Mark Wells.