NPC: Wellington sweep into Final

Fri, 18 Oct 2013 11:10
Wellington-v-counties Wellington-lions-fans Wellington-v-counties2

Wellington won through to the NPC Final in style, with a comprehensive 41-10 victory over Ranfurly Shield holders Counties Manukau in the semifinal on Friday.

The hosts were restricted to just two tries in the first half for a 15-nil lead at the break in a very windy capital.

However, the Lions ran in another four tries in a looser second spell to ensure they will host next weekend's decider - their first NPC Final for four years.

They will take on the winner of the second semifinal, to be contested between Canterbury and Auckland in Christchurch on Saturday.

The Lions muscled up after a disappointing 35-24 loss last week to Hawke's Bay, a brutal forward effort laying the base for the bruising six-try win.

Playing into the teeth of a northerly gale, Wellington's loose forwards kept the ball close early on, with the ball-carrying skills of Ardie Savea especially telling as the home team hit Counties defensive line hard.

Counties missed too many tackles as the Lions attacked the breakdown in waves.

The scorers:

For Wellington:
Wilson, Leiua 2, Treeby, Levave, Curtis
Cons: Sopoaga 4
Pen: Sopoaga

For Counties Manukau:
Lee, Pulu

Sources: Newstalk ZB & NZ Newswire