17 Oct 2008

Wellington into Air New Zealand Cup final

10:44 pm on 17 October 2008

The Wellington rugby team scored two late tries to beat Southland 28-19 in their Air New Zealand Cup semi-final in Wellington.

Wellington scored through Hosea Gear early in the match, but then in an very even contest the match remained undecided until the last 10 minutes.

A try to Southland winger Pihi Te Whare and a penalty to Blair Stewart put the visitors ahead for the first time with 20 minutes to play, but Wellington responded with a second try to Gear and one to Conrad Smith to take control of the game.

The Wellington coach Jamie Joseph wasn't happy with the mistakes his side made but says Southland played very well and it took a bit of composure from his team late in the game to see them through.

Southland's All Black halfback Jimmy Cowan wasn't disappointed afterwards saying he's very proud of the effort his team showed to stay in contention for most of the match.

Wellington will host the final against either Canterbury or Hawke's Bay, who meet in Christchurch Saturday night.

It is the 5th final Wellington have made in the last 6 years, but they haven't won any of them.