18 Sep 2010

Lions back to winning ways in Wellington

7:14 pm on 18 September 2010

Wellington have beaten Hawke's Bay 17-13 in their national provincial rugby match in the capital.

The Lions scored three tries to one, and led 17-10 at half time.

The win moves them up one place, above Waikato, into fifth position on the table.

The Magpies got off to a strong start in windy conditions; Kahn Fotuali'i scored the try from a move that had started deep in Hawke's Bay's own territory with a smart break by hooker, Hikawera Elliot.

Richard Buckman kicked the conversion and a penalty for the Bay, and the visitors led 10-nil.

But their defensive effort lost concentration, allowing Wellington winger Hosea Gear to speed through their line and put the Lions on the board, though Lima Sopoaga could not land the conversion.

Tahjon Mailata dotted down under the posts just minutes later, this time Sopoaga's kick was good, and suddenly the home side were leading 12-10.

Gear and Sopoaga combined at pace for the Lions third try, and second-five Charlie Ngatai stepped up to have a shot at landing a conversion for Wellington, but was unsuccessful, and the teams went to the break with the hosts up 17-10.

The blustery conditions helped keep both sides from adding to their scores for almost all of the second half.

Buckman managed to land a penalty for Hawke's Bay from right in front of the posts twenty minutes after the re-start, but though the Magpies piled on the pressure for the rest of the game, the score remained 17-13 to Wellington.