Wellington 17
Tasman 36

A battle of unbeaten sides saw Tasman top Wellington in the capital tonight but both teams continued to resemble potential title-winners.

While Tasman notched a fifth straight victory to remain on top of the ITM Cup Premiership, Wellington's efforts for 70 minutes showed the vast improvements they have made following their disastrous 2014 campaign.

The Lions remained second in the Championship, unable to overtake Hawkes Bay after being undone by too many errors and an opposition that were too clinical in minimal opportunities.


Having conceded only one try this season, Wellington's line was finally punctured after the halftime break at Westpac Stadium, snapping a 315-minute streak of the kind of solidity that will be the basis for any title charge.

But the home side could keep the high-flying Makos at bay for only so long, with moments of individual brilliance turning the match and periods of pressure eventually breaking Wellington's resolve.

Tasman scored 30 unanswered points in as many minutes as they overturned a 12-6 second-half deficit, with their sudden attacking spark overwhelming a Wellington side who were good value for their early advantage.

The home side shaded an opening half that featured the type of rugby perhaps expected from two teams without a loss between them, with enterprising attack scuppered by excellent defence.

The only man able to break free from the shackles was Wellington flanker Vaea Fifita, taking another large stride in his breakout campaign and laying on Wellington's opening try for Frae Wilson.

But that was as good as it got for the hosts, who turned over the ball far too often and were made to pay for their errors by a rampant opposition.

Wellington 17 (Wilson, Garden-Bachop, Goosen tries; Bentley con)
Tasman 36 (Samu, Fonotia, Kotze, Christie tries; Banks 2 pens, 2 cons, Havili 2 pens)
HT: 6-5