Wellington 49
Otago 22

Big, strong men will always run over smaller and tired men, especially when they have all the ball and have their tails up.

Wellington were convincing 49-22 winners over Otago at Forsyth Barr Stadium tonight. They led 35-10 at the break, and scored seven converted tries to go back to the top of the ITM Cup premiership.

They virtually had the game won by the end of the first quarter, leading 28-3 after 19 minutes.


It was all out attack from the men from the capital, and it is going to take a committed defensive outfit to finish in front of this Wellington side.

Otago didn't provide that, although they stood stronger as the game went on. Wellington are stacked with Super 15 players but Otago are not. In some ways, it was as simple as that.

Otago missed far too many tackles and any 50-50 balls were gobbled up by Wellington.

The men from the capital won the battle up front, with their scrum particularly dominant, and their big, strong loose forwards ran riot all over the park.

They recycled ball with ease and showed enough patience on attack to wait until the gap appeared and then spring free like a deadly cobra.

Otago showed the effects of three games in eight days and fell off more than 20 tackles in the game.

Boom loose forward Ardie Savea was all over the park for Wellington and made some fine runs in his 40 minutes on the field.

If Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett is not camping outside the Savea household securing the young man's signature, he must have rocks in his head. Savea looks a rare talent but there will be more severe examinations ahead for him as the Otago defence in the first half was as loose as Greece's fiscal policy.

No 8 Genesis Mamea also ran hard, although he tired as the game went on.

Wellington had to make do without first five-eighths Lima Sopoaga, who was a late scratching with a leg injury but it didn't matter as Tim Bateman stepped in with ease.

Wellington started strongly and scored their first try after five minutes when right wing Matt Proctor scored in the after good work inside by Charlie Ngatai. When Jason Woodward added the extras from the sideline, it looked like it was going to be a long night for the home team.

It got worse when Otago coughed up the ball to Savea from a disrupted scrum and Savea skipped away to score.

When Wellington scored another couple of tries soon after, a cricket score was looming.

It didn't quite head that way but Wellington look in ominous form.

Otago 22 (Tom Franklin, TJ Ioane, Shota Horie tries; Hayden Parker 2 cons, pen) Wellington 49 (Matt Proctor 3, Ardie Savea, Jeremy Thrush, Frae Wilson, Jason Woodward tries; Woodward 7 cons). HT: 10-35.