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Wellington Lions dominant in win over Counties Manukau

15 September 2018

SATURDAY 15 September 2018

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Big win in Pukekohe

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The Wellington Lions put out their best performance of the Mitre 10 Cup season to over run Counties Manukau 53-12 at Navigation Homes Stadium in Pukekohe.

The match was relatively even for the first half hour with Wellington enyoying a 13-0 lead after lock Isaia Walker-Leawere and wing Malo Tuitama had crossed with Jackson Garden-Bachop adding a penalty in between.

While the scoring had been relatively sedate up until that point the last few minutes certainly did not follow that script as the Lions ran in two quick tries between the 38th and 40th minute as the impressive Vaea Fifita and Billy Proctor both scored with Garden-Bachop adding both conversions.

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Ahead 29-0 at the break the Lions would have been forgiven for thinking the job was almost done.

They did not give that impression straight after the whistle sounded for the second half, however, as they scored again with Fifita grabbing his double.

Fifita proved a hard man to stop whenever he had the ball in hand and he was getting plenty of support from team-mates who were starting to show some good combinations.

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While Counties Manukau managed to counter with a couple of tries of their own it was Wellington who continued to keep the score ticking over at a more regular rate as Asafo Aumua and James O'Reilly (twice) scored to keep the Lions advantage healthy.

It was not just Wellington's attack that was impressive, however, as they showed plenty of attitude on defence to keep Counties Manukau out.

The win made sure Wellington retained the Jonah Lomu Memorial Trophy and kept them in the mix to host a Premiership semifinal.

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Wellington 53 (Isaia Walker-Leawere, Malo Tuitama, Vaea Fifita 2, Billy Proctor, Asofa Aumua, James O'Reilly 2 tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop pen, 5 cons). Counties Manukau 12 (Dan Hyatt, Tony Pulu tries; Latiume Fosita con) HT: 29-0