Wellington will face Canterbury in the Air New Zealand Cup final for the second straight year, after holding off a spirited challenge from Southland to progress to the title match with a 34-21 victory.
Unwanted All Black halfback Piri Weepu controlled the match for Wellington from first five eighth, with a series of towering up and unders, contributing 19 points.
Super-sub Dane Coles bagged a brace of tries, after wing David Smith had scored Wellington's first, while Jason Rutledge, Scott Cowan and Kenny Lynn got on the score-sheet for the visitors.
Canterbury beat Hawkes Bay on Friday to secure home advantage for Saturday's final, where they'll be hoping to seal a second straight crown for the first time, after beating the Lions 7-6 in Wellington last year.
For the Lions it'll be their fourth successive final but they've lost every one of those. In fact in the last 10 years Wellington have now made seven finals and won just once, against Canterbury in 2000.