Planet Rugby

Wellington avoid the drop

26th August 2011 10:31

Share:

hosea gear wellington v harbour

Hosea Gear: Scored for the Lions

Wellington avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth after edging past North Harbour 29-28 in Albany on Friday.

The win puts the Lions five points clear of bottom-placed Southland in the Premiership standings, which means the Stags drop to the Championship division next year no matter the outcome of their last match against Bay of Plenty on Sunday.

Composure in the second half and the pinpoint boot of pivot Lima Sopoaga were key facets in the win, which assured Wellington ITM Cup Premiership status for 2012.

The Lions came back from a 23-16 half-time deficit to score 16 unanswered points in the third quarter of play, before retaking the lead once more with about 10 minutes remaining after a fourth North Harbour try.

They then held off a frantic period of North Harbour attacking play in front of their tryline late in the match.

Sopoaga played a leading hand for Wellington, kicking seven attempts from seven including four second-half penalties.

His last penalty of the night from 45m out in the 71st minute put the Lions back in front after North Harbour wing David Raikuna had scored a try off a forward pass just moments before.

Now holding a one-point advantage, the Lions held firm to the end and fended off a 20-phase raid at the chalk by the home side.

The scorers:

For North Harbour:
Tries: Parsons, Smylie, Raikuna 2
Cons: Botica
Pens: Botica 2

For Wellington:
Tries: Levave, Gear
Cons: Sopoaga 2
Pens: Sopoaga 5

Wellington: 15 Apoua Stewart, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush (c), 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Joe Latta, 19 Dean Brunsdon, 20 Frae Wilson, 21 Michael Lealava'a, 22 Steve Honey, 23 Arden David-Perrot.

North Harbour: 15 Willie Walker, 14 Nafi Tuitavaki, 13 Rudi Wulf, 12 Brendon Watt, 11 David Raikuna, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Chris Smylie (c), 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Scott Uren, 6 Solomon King, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 James Parsons, 1 James Afoa.
Replacements: 16 Manu Leiataua, 17 Alex Woonton, 18 James King, 19 Brent Wilson, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Pita Ahki, 22 Codey Rei, 23 Taione Vea.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Preview
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs CastresToulouse vs Castres Preview
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Montpellier vs GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Preview
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Preview
Counties Manukau vs OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Preview
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
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
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00