News Leaflets
A leading news portal.

NPC: Wellington thrash Auckland 54-19 to secure berth in final

0 20

Midfielder Riley Higgins scored 2 of Wellington’s tries during the 54-19 win over Auckland in the NPC semifinal on Friday night.

Masanori Udagawa/Getty Images

Midfielder Riley Higgins scored 2 of Wellington’s tries during the 54-19 win over Auckland in the NPC semifinal on Friday night.

Wellington 54 (Julian Savea 5min, Riley Higgins 10min & 75min, Asafo Aumua 26min, Jackson Garden-Bachop 33min, TJ Perenara 57min tries, Pepesana Patafilo 62min, Ruben Love 80min tries; Garden-Bachop 5 con, Aidan Morgan 2 con) Auckland 19 (Niko Jones 38min, Jackson Pugh 41min, Patrick Tuipulotu 68m tries; Harry Plummer 2 con). HT: 26-7

Kirifi Du’Plessis and his Wellington team can be a cruel bunch.

Don’t believe us? Then have a gander at the way they ruined Auckland’s dreams of winning the NPC title by thumping them 54-19 in the semifinal at Sky Stadium in Wellington on Friday night.

Captain Du’Plessis and his men delivered the message early doors. And they completed the night by scoring eight tries to three. It was all bad news for Auckland.

Wellington were all power and hustle when Julian Savea, Riley Higgins, Asafo Aumua and Jackson Garden-Bachop scored in the first 33 minutes, prior to a dazed Auckland team finally getting a whiff of the smelling salts and replying with tries to Niko Jones and Jackson Pugh either side of halftime.

But, to be honest, Auckland were never in the contest.

If coach Leo Crowley could bottle up the magic that his team produced for the majority of this fixture, Wellington should have a genuine chance of claiming the competition crown for the first time since 2000.

Their opponent will be decided on Saturday night, when Canterbury host Bay of Plenty in their semi in Christchurch.

Some spit and polish will be required ahead of the final next weekend – a number of wonky lineouts were testament to that – but when Wellington got their attack humming it was like watching a bunch of fighter jets screaming over the horizon.

It all began with right wing Savea stampeding over for the first 5-pointer down the outside lane, and midfielder Riley Higgins gobbling up a chip kick to add more misery.

Yeah, it was lovely to watch. But, when it comes to sweet finishing, what a glorious sight hooker Aufua made for the local supporters when he beat 3 Auckland tacklers before dotting down.

It would also be madness for anyone from the Wellington camp to tinker with the scrum ahead of the big dance, given the set-piece schooled the Aucklanders.

Too right, it was a night worth celebrating for the Lions. It was only a pity there wasn’t a bigger crowd there to see it, but that’s the state of NPC footy these days isn’t it?

Auckland just couldn’t cope with the intensity and speed presented by the home team on attack; they weren’t helped, either, by mistakes at crucial moments or the fact that Wellington’s defence was outstanding for long periods.

When Auckland No 8 Pugh scored in the 41st minute to reduce the deficit to 14 points, it suggested a couple of rockets had been launched in the dressing room at halftime.

If that really was the case, they fizzled out pretty quickly; Wellington simply muscled-up, remained focused and it was appropriate that veteran halfback TJ Perenara, such a vital cog in this team, nailed the five-pointer to stretch the lead.

So there you have it, Wellington are in the final. If the Bay can upset Canterbury – it’s a tall order – the Lions will be back at Sky Stadium for the final.

The big moment

The blistering start from Wellington. Four unanswered tries in the first 33 minutes did the business.

Match rating


If you were from Wellington, you would probably be more generous. Fair enough, but the misfiring lineout results in a points deduction.

The big picture

Wellington will play the winner of the other semi between Canterbury or Bay of Plenty, to be played Saturday night, next weekend.


Wellington captain Du’Plessis Kirifi toiled away, he would be rapt with his team’s defence.


Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! News Leaflets is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment