Wellington opened their ITM Cup campaign with a bang after beating Manawatu 30-11 in Palmerston North on Friday.
The Lions outscored their Championship division neighbours three tries to two, with number eight Ardie Savea scoring on debut.
Manawatu held the Lions to a 3-3 scoreline after the opening quarter of play, but tries to Savea in the 24th minute and centre Shaun Treeby ten minutes later turned the match on its head.
Wellington combined a strong scrum with commitment in the physical exchanges and patience to lead 17-6 at half-time.
Captain and lock Jeremy Thrush scored the Lions' third try early in the second half and full-back Jason Woodward (15 points for the match) followed up with a penalty to give the Lions a match-winning 30-6 lead.
The home side toiled hard throughout and replacement prop David Te Moana added a consolation try for them near the end.
Try: Te Moana
Pens: George 2
Tries: A.Savea, Treeby, Thrush
Cons: Woodward 3
Pens: Woodward 3
Manawatu: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Craig Clare, 13 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12 Frankie Bryant, 11 Junior Tomasi Cama, 10 Nathan George, 9 Karl Bryson, 8 Hamish Gosling, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Nick Crosswell (c), 5 Michael Fitzgerald, 4 Fraser Stone, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Rob Foreman, 1 Eric Fry.
Replacements: 16 Bryn Templeman, 17 David Te Moana, 18 Reece Robinson, 19 James Oliver, three backs reserves TBC
Wellington: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Matt Proctor, 10 Tim Bateman, 9 Frae Wilson, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Scot Fuglistaller, 6 Mark Reddish, 5 Ross Filipo, 4 Jeremy Thrush (c), 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Arden David-Perrot, 18 Whetu Henry, 19 Lua Lokotui, 20 Genesis Mamea, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Ambrose Curtis
Referee: Bryce Lawrence