Wellington overcame a sluggish first half by roaring back to beat Hawke's Bay 30-15 in their round two NPC clash at Westpac Stadium.
Powder puffs last year, the 2012 Lions look made of sterner stuff after producing a fine and robust win over the newly-promoted Magpies. Wellington are now two-from-two, while Hawke's Bay are yet to register a win.
Earlier, Hawke's Bay were well worth their 15-6 halftime lead. Their scrum might not have been up to much in the first 40 minutes, but the Magpies were the better side pretty much everywhere else on the park.
Wellington had their moments on attack - on the occasions they were able to hold onto the ball for more than a phase. Too often, though, poor handling stymied promising opportunities.
The home side had begun well, carrying the ball in a direct manner and easily gaining the advantage line. Fullback Jason Woodward gave them an early 3-0 lead, courtesy of a fourth-minute penalty, and then the Lions and the ball became strangers.
Hawke's Bay monopolised possession instead and looked dangerous with it too. Right wing Tino Nemani was a constant threat, while front rowers Ben Tameifuna and Hika Elliot were also prominent.
Elliot scored the match's first try, to make it 5-3, before providing the final pass to send first five-eighth Dan Waenga in to score eight minutes out from halftime. Nemani and Tameifuna had both carried strongly in that movement, which was finished off when Elliot got a one-arm ball away to Waenga.
Wellington's other points of the first half came from a 19th minute Woodward penalty.
Lions lock Ross Filipo, playing in his 50th match for the province, was injured in the lead-up to Waenga's try and replaced by Mark Reddish.
His loss didn't seem to affect Wellington's pack too much, judging by the way they started the second spell. Having camped in Hawke's Bay's 22, the Lions produced a massive scrum on their own feed, which saw No 8 Victor Vito plunge over the tryline.
Woodward's conversion made it 15-13, with 30 minutes remaining.
Given the way the match had unfolded to that point, the team that could hold onto the ball would win from there. It proved to be Wellington, who produced a near-faultless 15 minutes following Vito's try.
They continued to play in the right area of the park, and to cherish possession, and got their reward when hooker Dane Coles dived over to score, following a trademark surge. Woodward again converted, before loosehead prop Arden David-Perrot scored in the left-hand corner shortly after to make it 25-15 to the Lions.
Woodward put the icing on the cake when he finished off a fine team try, seven minutes out from fulltime.
Wellington (Victor Vito, Dane Coles, Arden David-Perrot, Jason Woodward tries; Woodward 2 pen, 2 con)
Hawke's Bay (Hika Elliot, Dan Waenga tries; Waenga pen, con).
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