Auckland came from behind to beat Wellington 33-22 and book their place in the ITM Cup final against Canterbury.
The Lions will be kicking themselves after leading 22-14 in the second half, only to lose their composure and the match after conceding three tries in the final 23 minutes.
Auckland centre Malakai Fekitoa was the hero for his team thanks to a late brace of touchdowns in the 60th and 70th minutes.
Fekitoa's midfield partner Hadleigh Parkes sealed the deal after touching down for Auckland's fourth try with five minutes remaining.
Tries: Reddish, Filipo, Savea
Cons: Woodward 2
Tries: Manu, Parkes, Fekitoa 2
Cons: Anscombe 2
Pens: Anscombe 3
Wellington: 15 Charlie Ngatai, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Jason Woodward, 10 Tim Bateman, 9 Frae Wilson, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Ross Filipo, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremey Thrush (c), 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Eric Sione, 18 Lua Lokotui, 19 Genesis Mamea, 20 Kayne Hammington, 21 Lima Sopoaga, 22 Ambrose Curtis.
Auckland: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Dave Thomas, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Joe Edwards, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams/Andrew Van der Heijden, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: Nathan Vella, Siosiua Halanukonuka, Van der Heijden/Nathan Hughes, Sean Polwart, Scott Patterson, Simon Hickey, Lolagi Visinia.