Rugby: Vaea Fifita guides Wellington to big win over Counties Manukau

Unwanted All Black Vaea Fifita has lead Wellington to a 53-12 mauling of Counties Manukau in Pukekohe on Sunday.

The rampaging flanker continued to press his claim for a return to the test stage with a two-try effort which would've had the national selectors sitting up even further in their chairs.

The Lions lead from start to finish in a commanding all-round display to retain the Jonah Lomu Memorial Trophy for another year, the bonus point win temporarily lifting them to the top of the Mitre 10 premiership.

The visitors shot to an early lead courtesy of an Isaia Walker-Leawere try, with Jackson Garden-Bachop adding a penalty to stretch the advantage to 8-0.

A hard-fought period of play proceeded, until the match was blown wide open by the Lions. They ran in three tries in the space of just seven minutes – including one to Billy Proctor as the halftime hooter sounded – to take a commanding 29-0 lead into the interval.

Fifita grabbed his second immediately after the break to essentially put an end to the contest.

Counties pulled one back through No. 8 Dan Hyatt before another unwanted All Black joined in the action, hooker Asafo Aumua making a trademark bustling run down the right edge to send the scoreline to 41-7.

Speedster Toni Pulu scored another for the hosts, with replacement James Ryan nabbing one more in the dying stages to cap off a convincing performance by the men from the capital.