Wellington Lions advance to Championship final

20 October 2017

FRIDAY 20 October 2017

Wellington have advanced to the Mitre 10  Cup Championship final after a 49-21 semi-final win over Northland at Westpac Stadium.

The Lions scored six tries including two to birthday boy Wes Goosen as they beat the Taniwha for the second week in a row after playing them a week prior in the final round of the regular season.

Wellington will host the winner of the other Championship semifinal between Bay of Plenty at Westpac Stadium on Friday, October 27.

49 21 v4

Northland provided stout opposition in the first semifinal as they scored two first half tries to wing Jordan Hyland and fullback Solomon Alaimalo to hold a 14-9 lead late in the first half.

Three Jackson Garden-Bachop penalties kept the Lions in touch and when Northland loose forward Dan Pryor was sinbinned for deliberately slowing the ball at the ruck, the home side pounced.

Second five Thomas Umaga-Jensen crashed over just before halftime to give Wellington a narrow 16-14 lead, and after the break the flood gates creaked open against the tiring Taniwha.

Goosen got his first after some slick handling, and fullback Trent Renata followed a few minutes later to open a 30-14 lead.

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Renata's try was the result of an electric break from wing Julian Savea who skirted his opposite and then fed his fullback on the inside.

Prop Tolu Fahamokioa, then replacement midfielder Regan Verney sealed the result with quick fire tries to make it 42-14 before the visitor's could respond with a late try to halfback Sam Nock.

However, it was too little too late and Goosen got the final say on his 22nd birthday when he scored on fulltime thanks to a Savea off load.

Man of the match Jackson Garden-Bachop scored 19 points through three penalties and five conversions to continue his excellent season.

Scorers

Wellington 49 (Wes Goosen 2, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Trent Renata, Tolu Fahamokioa, Regan Verney tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop 3 pen, 5 con) Northland 21 (Jordan Hyland, Solomon Alaimalo, Sam Nock tries; Dan Hawkins 2 con, Peter Breen con). HT: 16-14.

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