Wellington opened their ITM Cup campaign with a comfortable 23-5 win over Taranaki in New Plymouth on Saturday.
Lions wing Jason Woodward bagged a hat-trick for the visitors, as the Amber and Blacks failed to push on in the second half after holding their Hurricanes cousins to an 8-0 lead at the break.
Only three points seperated the two teams up until the 39th minute of the first half courtesy of a penalty from Wellington centre Michael Hobbs, before Woodward struck with his first try on the stroke of half-time.
Taranaki came out all guns blazing in the second half, and were over the whitewash in the 51st minute after wing Jayden Hayward got round the outside of Piri Weepu to score in the left-hand corner.
However, it would be the first and last time the home side would score as the Lions took charge from then on in as Jeremy Thrush's troops stretched their lead to 10 points with Woodward's brace.
Weepu kicked the conversion and then added another penalty to kill off any chance the 'Naki would have had of snatching an opening home win.
The All Blacks scrum-half then hoisted a clever box-kick which bounced kindly for Woodward who gathered to finish the game off in style.
Tries: Woodward 3
Pens: Hobbs, Weepu
Taranaki: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Isaia Tuifua, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 Andre Taylor, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Scott Waldrom, 6 Chris Walker, 5 Craig Clarke (c), 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Carl Carmichael,
Replacements: 16 Laurence Corlett, 17 Sione Lea, 18 Blade Thomson, 19 Ben Souness, 20 Brett Goodin, 21 Jack Cameron, 22 Frazer Climo, 23 Kevin Curtis.
Wellington: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Jason Woodward, 13 Alipate Leiua, 12 Michael Hobbs, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush (c), 3 Whetu Henry, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Neemia Tialata.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Reg Goodes, 18 Api Naikatini, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 TJ Perenara, 21 Steve Honey, 22 Apoua Stewart, 23 Arden David-Perrot.
Referee: Jonathon White