The Wellington Lions took to the field with purpose on Saturday 17 October, securing a 34-14 victory over Otago in the ITM Cup Championship semi-final at Westpac Stadium.
The Lions secured early dominance of the match with tries to Frae Wilson and Marvin Karawana combined with solid kicking by Jackson Garden-Bachop giving them a 17-7 lead at half time.
A try from Captain Ardie Savea saw the Lions extend their lead to 24-7 in the second half. While Otago managed to close the gap to 27-14 with five minutes to play, Wellington sealed the game with a late try from Jonny Bentley.
The match also marked the 87th and final match for the Lions at Westpac Stadium for stalwart lock Jeremy Thrush.
The Lions now take on Hawke’s Bay in the Championship Final in Napier on Friday night. The winner will gain promotion to the top tier Premiership competition for next year.
Wellington Lions 32 (Frae Wilson, Marvin Karawana, Ardie Savea. Jonny Bentley tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop 2 pens, 4 cons) beat Otago 14 (James Lentjes, Adam Knight tries; Peter Breen con; Fletcher Smith con) HT: 17-7