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Wellington vs Bay of Plenty

 

Wellington’s winning has streak extended to three in a row after 24-10 Mitre 10 Cup Championship victory over Bay of Plenty at Westpac Stadium.

With two tries to prop Reggie Goodes, one each to wing Wes Goosen and fullback Peter Umaga-Jensen, and a man of the match performance from big lock Sam Lousi, the Lions secured a bonus point on a wet and windy night in the capital.

Wellington remain in second place on the Championship ladder behind Otago and will take plenty of confidence into their next match, against Northland in Whangarei on Thursday.

While Lousi’s strong carrying around the rucks and physicality in defence saw him named man of the match, Goodes wasn’t far behind against Bay of Plenty.

The loose head prop set up the first try of the match by earning his side a turnover scrum penalty and then barged over from the ensuing lineout drive to put his side up 5-0 after 12 minutes.

Goodes then set up the next try with a surge up the middle of the park before Lions first five Jackson Garden-Bachop lobbed a pin point cross-kick into the arms of Umaga-Jensen who strolled over for his first try in a Lions jersey and a 12-0 lead.

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CAPTION: Lions fullback Peter Umaga-Jensen runs over for his first Lions try against Bay of Plenty. PHOTO: Dave Lintott Photography.

Bay of Plenty, with five former Wellington players in their starting side, had opportunities to score, but were thwarted by a determined home team defence led by captain and blindside Brad Shields and senior lock Mark Reddish.

With Reddish doing the grind and Lousi providing the flair, the Lions had a superb locking partnership on the night.

The visitor’s got on the board with a Luke Campbell penalty after 20 minutes, but wouldn’t trouble the scorers again in the first half.

A Lousi break put Garden-Bachop into space and busted open to put Goosen over in the 21st minute to make it 17-3.

Goosen effectively earned his side five more points when he held Steamers wing Monty Ioane up over the goal line and Wellington went to the break in a strong position.

A rout looked on when another Lousi burst set up Goodes to muscle over for his second try, but to Bay of Plenty’s credit they dug in for the remainder of the match.

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CAPTION: Lions captain Brad Shields led the defensive effort as Bay of Plenty were restricted to just one try. PHOTO: Dave Lintott Photography.

First five Dan Hollinshead’s grubber kick was collected by Mana College old boy, second five Terrence Hepetama in the 53rd minute and an arm-wrestle ensued to the final whistle.

Some highlights for the Lions came via their reserves bench with reserve hooker Valentine Meachen and prop Ha’amea Ahio making their Lions debuts and halfback Sheridan Rangihuna earning his blazer.

It was also good to see wing Malo Tuitama making breaks after being out for some time with concussion. 

Scorers: Wellington 24 (Reggie Goodes 2, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Wes Goosen tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop 2 con) Bay of Plenty 10 (Terrence Hepetama try; Luke Campbell pen; Dan Hollingshead con). HT: 17-3

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