Planet Rugby

Wellington lurch to insipid win

17th October 2009 07:42

Share:

Ma a Nonu met by tackler

Met well: Ma'a Nonu

Wellington stayed well on course for an Air New Zealand Cup semi-final spot after a laboured 37-13 home victory over North Harbour on Saturday.

The Lions were held to 13-13 at the break by their visitors, who were reinforced by All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock, but once their noses were in front in a tepid second half courtesy of a converted try by Alipate Leiua and another penalty from Fa'atonu Fili, there was little danger of an upset.

Fili put the home side in front with two penalties as Wellington sought to go about business with a minimum of fuss, but Ma'a Nonu's reluctance to look outside him - it was a feature of his play all day - cost the Lions dear after 25 minutes when he lost the ball in contact and Michael Harris was able to break away and feed Nafi Tuitavake for the game's opening try under the posts.

Harris extended his side's lead with a penalty and deservedly so as the visitors had dominated the territory. But a better handling move from the Wellington backs sent Hosea Gear away down the left. His kick ahead was fielded by Tuitavake, but turned over, and four phases later Jacob Ellison crashed over, with Fili converting to make it 13-10.

Harris' second penalty, right on the half-time hooter, balanced the scoreline and set up what could have been an intriguing second half.

The second half was stodgy, not helped by the weather, but throwing up a fascinating - at times over-aggressive - wrestling match between Woodcock and Neemia Tialata in the scrum.

Wellington gave away a string of penalties as well, much to Serge Lilo's disgust as he was caught doing things that other opensides get away with far too often.

But finally the Lions broke free. First a good line-out drive set up a platform for Nonu to half-break and send Leiua free to score.

Then, after Fili had landed a third, it was Nonu himself who darted through from close range for the third.

Gear rounded off the scoring after Cory Jane - heavily bandaged and frequently bleeding from a nasty forehead wound - had made another telling break.

That bonus point could yet be crucial, but Wellington are one foot in the door of the semi-finals now.

The scorers:

For Wellington:
Tries: J.Ellison, Leiua, Nonu, Gear
Cons: Fili 4
Pens: Fili 3

For North Harbour:
Try: Tuitavake
Con: Harris
Pens: Harris 2

Wellington: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Alapati Leuia, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Fa'atonu Fili, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Rodney So'oialo, 7 Serge Lilo, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Daniel Ramsay, 4 Jacob Ellison (c), 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 John Schwalger.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Anthony Perenise, 18 Polonga Pedro, 19 Scott Fuglistaller, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Shaun Treeby, 22 David Smith.

North Harbour: 15 Jack McPhee, 14 Nafi Tuitavake, 13 Rudi Wulf, 12 Andrew Mailei, 11 Ken Pisi, 10 Michael Harris, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Viliami Ma'afu, 7 Tom Chamberlain, 6 Anthony Boric (c), 5 Filo Paulo, 4 James King, 3 Michael Reid, 2 Michael Mayhew, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Chris Smith, 19 Scott Uren, 20 Nalu Tuigamala, 21 Ben Botica, 22 Hayden Abercrombie.

Referee: Bryce Lawrence

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00