Mitre 10 Cup: Lions pounce on lacklustre Canterbury in Wellington

Wellington have pipped a resurgent Canterbury side to win their first Mitre 10 Cup match of the season, holding on to win 23-22 at Westpac Stadium. 

Both teams traded early penalty kicks as neither team could break the other's defence. 

That was until Canterbury number eight set up fullback Josh McKay who sliced through to score the opening try. 

Wellington fought back and had the better of the chances to score up until McKay did.

The Lions kept knocking on the door until the red and blacks let them in with three minutes to go in the first half - Vince Aso scoring after a break from winger Pepesana Patafilo.

That's how the sides went into the break with Canterbury leading 10-8.

The home side exploded out of the sheds and threw the ball around providing all sorts of problems for the nine-time champions.

Flanker Du'Plessis Kirifi scored for the hosts to take the score to 15-10.

They never let the visitors back in the game, prop Alex Fidow proving a bright spark in the second half - scoring in the 49th minute to take it out to a 13-point game. 

Like their first two games, Canterbury were left chasing the game in the closing minutes - their fighting spirit kept them in the game as lock Mitchell Dunshea gave the visitors a glimmer of hope, scoring after a great solo effort down the left-wing got them to within eight points.

First-five Jackson Garden-Bachop orchestrated things for the Lions as his pinpoint kicking kept Canterbury deep in their own half. 

A solid lineout drive saw replacement prop Oli Jager score and Brett Cameron slotted the conversion to make it a one-point game with just two minutes on the clock. 

Excellent work at the breakdown from Kirifi earned Wellington a penalty which they kicked into touch - the lineout wasn't straight so Canterbury were tasked with going 90 metres after the buzzer to win the game. 

They were unable to, meaning the Lions held on to win by one and inflict more pain into Canterbury's season - winless through their first three games. 



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