Wellington make bright Cup start
August 23, 2013
Wellington underlined their status as one of the teams to watch with a one-sided 29-10 win over Taranaki in rugby's National Provincial Championship.
It was the second comfortable victory in a row for the Lions, who overwhelmed Counties Manukau 55-16 in round one of the ITM Cup.
The Lions' effort in New Plymouth was set up by a strong pack performance and they took advantage to compile four tries, two of them to lock Ross Filipo. A typical drive brought them their bonus point early in the second half, with flanker Faifili Levave the beneficiary.
In a contest between two of last year's premiership semi-finalists, Taranaki struggled to match the intensity of the Lions in the first spell. But they did have their moments later on in the game, as Wellington took their foot off the pedal after Levave's touchdown.
Taranaki managed to get across the line 14 minutes from the end and the try was one of the highlights of the night. Replacement scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park's long kick-ahead was chased down by fly-half Daniel Brooks, who was helped by the ball bouncing off the corner post. But it was too little too late for the home side, who fell to a second defeat after going down to defending champions Canterbury last weekend.
Wellington raced out to a 17-0 lead by end of the first quarter at Yarrow Stadium, helped by tries to winger Joe Hill and Filipo. Hill scored his backing up a big mid-field break by inside-centre Shaun Treeby, while Filipo received a deft offload from fellow lock Mark Reddish to finish off a concerted attack. Filipo got his second just before half-time after the Lions rumbled ahead from a line-out.