1 Aug 2009

Lions survive spirited shield challenge

6:49 am on 1 August 2009

Wellington have successfully completed their fourth defence of domestic rugby's Ranfurly Shield with a 23-19 come from behind win over Otago at Westpac Stadium.

Otago first five Chris Noakes scored 14 of his side's 19 points and guided the visitors to the half-time break leading 11-3.

But the momentum of the game turned in the second half when Wellington broke away to score under the posts with Otago hot on attack.

The Lions lifted on the back of the try to replacement lock Daniel Ramsay with Hosea Gear scoring not long after to give Wellington a comfortable 23-14 lead just before the full-time whistle.

And in Friday night's other Air New Zealand Cup match the Bay of Plenty Steamers beat Northland 19-14 in a closely contested battle at the Rotorua International Stadium.