The Lions went from Wellington to the land of Ferdinand and beat Taranaki 23-5 at Yarrow Stadium, thanks to a hat-trick of tries by young Jason Woodward.
It was not all easy for the Lions and they were grateful for the contribution of their right wing who scored all their tries, the first just before half-time to make the score 8-0 at the break and the next two well into the second half.
Jayden Hayward's try in the second half gave Taranaki hop but then Woodward finished them off.
A close attack by Wellington led to Woodward's first try as Piri Weepu,. Jeremy Thrush and Lima Sopoaga conspired to put him over in the corner.
Taranaki attacked from the start of the second half Hayward was close once and then rounded Weepu to score, but then the visitors took over. A long run by hooker Dane Coles paved the way for Woodward's second try and with 10 minutes to play Weepu lofted a kick which bounced benignly into Woodward's arms for the third of his tries.
Tries Woodward 3
Pens: Weepu, Hobbs
Wellington: Cory Jane, Jason Woodward, Alapati Leiua, Michael Hobbs, Julian Savea, Lima Sopoaga, Piri Weepu, Victor Vito, Scott Fuglistaller, Brad Shields, Mark Reddish, Jeremy Thrush (captain), Whetu Henry, Dane Coles, Neemia Tialata.
Replacements: Motu Matu'u, Reggie Goodes, Api Naikatini, Faifili Levave, TJ Perenara, Steve Honey, Apoua Stewart, Arden David-Perrott.
Taranaki: Kurt Baker, Waisake Naholo, Isaia Tuifua, Jayden Hayward, Andre Taylor, Beauden Barrett, Tyson Keats, Samu Vunisa, Scott Waldrom, Chris Walker, Craig Clarke, Jason Eaton, Michael Bent, Andrew Hore, Carl Carmichael.
Replacements: Laurence Corlett, Sione Lea, Blade Thomson, Ben Souness, Brett Goodin, Jack Cameron, Frazier Climo, Kevin Curtis.
Referee: Nick Briant
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