Wellington flex their muscle against Taranaki

GLENN MCLEAN
Last updated 19:55 23/08/2013
Mark Reddish
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ
EASY WIN: Wellington's Mark Reddish spins the ball away from a ruck against Taranaki.

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Wellington's impressive start to the national provincial championship continued tonight after they breezed past Taranaki 29-10 in New Plymouth.

With a four try bonus point inside the first 43 minutes, Wellington could effectively cruise for the majority of the second half.

They did, as the game and the visitors largely went through the motions.

Two games, two bonus point victories for the Victor Vito led side who lived up to their favourites tag against opposition still finding their feet after the loss of several experienced players.

The only time Wellington had to show real urgency in the second half was for the first three minutes and immediately after Taranaki's sole bright moment of the night, a Daniel Brooks try after the young first five-eighth got a rare bounce off the corner post to score.

Not that Wellington were in any danger of losing or even giving their soon-to-be departing Hurricanes partners even a bonus point.

No, the script has always been written in Wellington's favour in these matches and last night was no different.

Wellington spent much of the first half looking as though they were going through a midweek training run as they controlled the ball effortlessly.

Tries to Joe Hill, Ross Filipo and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen had the competition leaders out to a comfortable 22-3 at the break.

It was nothing short of what they deserved, given their wealth of possession.

They used it pretty wisely, too, attacking Taranaki through the midfield where debutant Ope Peleseuma and Andre Taylor were struggling with the defensive accuarcy needed.

Hill's try showed that, while Wellington could also revert to taking the ball up the middle if they wanted to get over the advantage line.

That brought them two tries, the last just a minute before the break which effectively killed off any thoughts Taranaki had of launching a comeback.

Despite the one-sided nature of the scoreline after 40 minutes, many in the crowd throught the television match official should have taken a harder line with Filipo's try when the ball appeared to go forward from Mark Reddish.

Still, when you are the dominant team things go your way.

It certainly did for Wellington immediately after the break when Faifili Levave scored from a 5m lineout drive.

At 29-3 it was always going to be a case of Taranaki trying to get some respectability out of the game.

They couldn't do that.

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Wellington 29 (Joe Hill, Ross Filipo, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen Faifili Levave tries; Lima Sopoaga pen, 3 cons) Taranaki 10 (Daniel Brooks try; Andre Taylor pen, con). HT: 22-3.

- Fairfax Media

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