12 Oct 2008

Wellington into semi-finals

8:33 am on 12 October 2008

The Wellington rugby captain Piri Weepu admits there were some patchy moments during their provincial championship quarter-final win over Taranaki.

The Lions secured a home semi-final after scoring seven tries to win 50-30, but the game could have swung the visitors' way in the second half.

Wellington led 22-13 at half-time and looked set to take control when winger Hosea Gear scored his 12th try of the season early in the second spell.

But the home side couldn't shake off Taranaki, whose forwards dominated the breakdown.

Wellington didn't make it safe until the last few minutes when centre Tamati Ellison scored and then number eight Thomas Waldrom got a soft seventh try.

Taranaki scored three tries and twice got within six points, with the Lions only securing the win in the final few minutes, with late tries to Tamati Ellison and Thomas Waldrom.

Weepu says there were a few anxious moments when Paul Perez crossed the try line to bring the score to 36-30.

He says there was a bit of bickering going on in the huddle after Perez scored but senior players like Rodney So'oialo and Ross Filipo calmed the team down and they finished strongly.

In the late game, Southland became the third semi-finalists after thrashing Bay of Plenty 45-11 in Mount Maunganui.

Canterbury and Wellington await the result of today's Hawkes Bay-Waikato game in Napier to see who plays who next weekend.