Taranaki's difficult season has ended in bitter disappointment.

The Bulls were relegated from the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership after suffering a 34-10 loss to Wellington in New Plymouth.

The visitors roared home to victory after taking a 12-10 lead in the first half, aided by the return of several All Black big guns.

Flanker Vaea Fifita returned straight to the starting XV for Wellington after travelling with the All Blacks to Argentina and South Africa.

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But all eyes were on All Black hooker Dane Coles who made his long-awaited rugby comeback after an extended period on the sidelines with a 16 minute stint in the second half.

Both All Black hopefuls made an immediate impact, with Fifita crossing over for Wellington's first try, while Coles' loose ball dive a few minutes after coming on led to a second half try.

Taranaki - who also surrendered the Ranfurly Shield to Waikato this season - will play in the Championship next season for the first time since its inception in 2011.

The bonus point win sealed Wellington's spot in the premiership semifinals.

Wellington 34 (Vaea Fifita, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Matt Proctor, Malo Tuitama, Sitiveni Paongo tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop 2con, pen, Trent Renata con)
Taranaki 10 (Warwick Lahmert try; Beaudein Waaka con, pen)
Halftime: 12-10

ROTORUA DAILY POST | Sport
13 Oct, 2018 12:06pm
3 minutes to read