Wellington 33 - 16 Bay of Plenty, ITM Cup
Lions beat Steamers to maintain top billing
September 12, 2013
Date/Time: Sep 12, 2013, 19:35 local, 07:35 GMT
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Wellington 33 - 16 Bay of Plenty
Half-time: 20 - 6
Tries: Bateman, Toomaga-Allen, Treeby
Cons: Sopoaga 3
Pens: Sopoaga 4
Tries: Thomas
Cons: Ripia
Pens: Ripia 3
Wellington's Motu Matu'u takes a tackle, Wellington v Bay of Plenty, ITM Cup, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, September 12, 2013
Motu Matu'u featured strongly for Wellington up front
© Getty Images

Wellington Lions maintained their undefeated record in the ITM Cup with a scrappy performance against lowly Bay of Plenty Steamers in a stop-start Premiership match at Westpac Stadium. Tries in the first half to Jeffery Toomaga-Allen and Tim Bateman set up Wellington's win, with Shaun Treeby chiming in late in the second spell to wrap up the win.

Wellington have scored 29 tries in their six matches, and conceded only nine, but for the first time this season they were unable to add the bonus point, which leaves them seven points clear of second-placed Auckland, who have a game in hand.

Wellington again started strongly, with Toomaga-Allen through sloppy defence to touch down after the Lions' up-tempo game and quick recycling had put Bay of Plenty on the back foot. Lima Sopoaga landed the conversion to add to an earlier penalty, and Wellington led 10-0 after 10 minutes.

Bateman extended the lead on 26 minutes, collecting Sopoaga's flat skip pass from an attacking lineout to slice through for the Lions' second try, and Wellington took a comfortable 20-6 lead into half-time after limiting the Steamers to a brace of penalty goals from Willie Ripia.

Jeffery Toomaga-Allen claimed the first try © Getty Images

Bay of Plenty hauled themselves back into the game with a 90-metre breakaway try four minutes after the restart, the Steamers effecting a turnover with the Lions hard on attack to set create the opportunity for Dave Thomas to score between the posts.

Bay of Plenty finally started stringing together phases in the second spell, and they kept the Lions at bay until spilling the ball as they tried to run the ball from in front of their own posts 12 minutes from full-time. Wellington's hard-working forwards pounced after forcing the error and drove through to set up Treeby for the easiest of tries to secure the points.

Wellington's Afa Fa'atau fends Bay of Plenty's Joe Royal © Getty Images

Australian flanker Beau Robinson continues to play well for Bay of Plenty © Getty Images

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