ITM Cup - Round 4
Wellington make it two from three
ESPNscrum Staff
July 26, 2011
Wellington's Frae Wilson is hugged by Motu Matu'u after scoring a try during round four of the ITM Cup, Wellington v Canterbury, ITM Cup, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, July 27, 2011
Wellington's Frae Wilson receives his team-mates acclaim after scoring a try during their win over Canterbury © Getty Images

Wellington recovered from conceding try inside the opening 30 seconds of the game to defeat Canterbury 37-28 on Wednesday.

In Wellington's third game of the season they racked up a four-try bonus point win over current ITM champions Canterbury. However, Wellington were shocked inside the first minute when No.8 Victor Vito failed to gather the kick-off allowing Canterbury centre Robbie Fruean the chance to power through the shocked defence and score. Canterbury then stretched their lead after 18 minutes with a brilliant solo effort from Tom Taylor.

However, Wellington struck back through Michael Hobbs who capitalised on good work from Apoua Stewart. Following another Lim Sapoaga penalty, the deficit was cut to a point and Wellington went into the break ahead after flanker Scott Fuglistaller powered over the line.

Vito made amends for his earlier error scoring a try early in the second-half with substitute Frae Wilson securing the bonus point soon after. Canterbury had Nepo Laulala and Ben Funnell to thank for their eventual four-try bonus point but it will be Wellington who will be the happier of the two sides with their convincing win.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Taranaki came from behind to beat Northland 23-16.

Trailing 13-10 after an untidy first half, Taranaki held their form in the second half to overcome a feisty Northland who were seeking redemption after dropping their last match against Manawatu. Northland, finding their rhythm early, charged into the lead with a couple of Lachie Munro penalties to lead 6-0 after 18 minutes.

Enterprising play saw centre Rene Ranger and fullback Jared Payne team up to create a chance for Northland which needed some good defence to snuff out. Northland's opening try was created by a snap counter-attack launched with a chip kick by first five-eighth Jack McPhee from inside his 22m. McPhee recovered his kick and let Ranger carry it on before another touch from him delivered a gift-wrapped try for second five-eighth Aaron Bancroft which was converted by Munro.

Taranaki came back into the game after 20 minutes of lack-lustre play with halfback Tyson Keats, flanker Scott Waldrom, lock and skipper Craig Clarke and wing Andre Taylor beginning to impose themselves on the game. They were rewarded with two quick tries, Jayden Hayward punishing a loose Ranger pass with a runaway intercept try in the 32nd minute. Another breakaway started by Taylor saw Clarke carry the ball on and his flip up to Laurence Corlett saw the hooker score a converted try which put the scoreline at 13-10 at halftime.

Taranaki, having beaten Waikato 30-23 in their previous outing after trailing by 14 points, had to dig themselves out of trouble again. Young first five-eighth Beauden Barrett found his range in the second half to tie the scores with an early penalty.

Taranaki's third try came in the 64th minute after Northland conceded a 5m scrum leaving substitute hooker Mahonri Schwalger to tidy things up by dotting down after mesy play by both sides. Barrett knocked over the conversion and then kicked a booming penalty from 55m out to seal the win over a tiring Northland.

Taranaki's second win of the season put them on nine points while it was Northland's second loss leaving them on five points.

Bay of Plenty stretched their winning streak to three after they mauled Waikato 36-8 in the ITM Cup in Rotorua on Tuesday.

A fine all round performance by first five-eighth Daniel Waenga, who set up two tries and kicked 16 points with his boot, helped send Waikato spinning to their second defeat in three games.

Waenga was not the only star on show for Bay of Plenty. Fullback Toby Arnold bagged two tries and then turned provider with a scything run that splintered the Waikato defence in the second half.

Waikato turned in a disjointed performance and compounded their woes with an indisciplined display that let Waenga punch over morale sapping penalties in the first half. Arnold's try meant Bay of Plenty opened up a 16-3 half-time lead with a solitary penalty coming from Waikato's Trent Renata.

Arnold quickly got his second try after lively wing Lelia Masaga barged past two feeble tackles. Waenga then glided through the midfield and his break set up substitute hooker John Paraenga for his side's third try.

Waikato grabbed a try through lock Toby Lynn against the run of play only to see Arnold unlock their defence with his run late in the match, his offload giving substitute halfback Taniela Moa the simplest of tasks to plant down his side's fourth and bonus point try.

The victory sees Bay of Plenty top the standings with 14 well clear of closest pursuers Canterbury and Auckland who have six points each.

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