Wellington Lions scored five tries to one to convincingly beat a disappointing Bay of Plenty Steamers side 31-13 at Mount Maunganui's ASB Baypark this afternoon.
The game was evenly poised at halftime with the Lions leading 12-10 but with the wind behind them, they showed too much class for the error-ridden Steamers. Even with two players in the bin the Lions were able to dominate the second half.
The pick of the tries was a superb individual effort from Wellington captain Ardie Savea immediately after the restart to put the Steamers further behind. Cory Jane and Tomasi Alosio scored late tries to finish off the home side, who managed one excellent try to Johan Bardoul in the first half.
But they paid dearly for missing several clear scoring opportunities that would have changed the nature of the game.
The Steamers last pool game is in Dunedin next Sunday against Otago before a likely semifinal in Napier against Hawke's Bay a week later.
Wellington 31 (Jeremy Thrush 2, Ardie Savea, Cory Jane, Tomasi Alosio tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop con, Jonny Bentley 2 cons)
Bay of Plenty 13 (Johan Bardoul try; Dan Hollinshead con, 2 pens)