Wellington Lions first half effort sets up big win over Southland

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An explosive first half performance from the Wellington Lions set them up for a commanding 52-7 win over Southland in their Mitre 10 Cup cross-over match at Westpac Stadium on Friday night.

The Lions ran in six unanswered tries in the opening 40 minutes as they dominated all facets of play to have the visitors reeling at the break.

From the opening whistle it was fast-paced with the first stoppage of play not coming for more than three minutes.

It was not long after that the Lions opened the scoring through a Thomas Umaga-Jensen try.

Five more followed as the backs and forwards combined with lethal effect as Southland really struggled to slow anything the Lions did down.

With Jackson Garden-Bachop only missing one conversion it looked, at 40-0 at the break, that the Lions could set  record score against Southland.

However, the Stags regrouped during halftime and came out a lot more organised in defence as the Lions sturuggled to break them down.

They eventually did but not before Southland scored a try of their own.

Things ended as they had started with the Lions scoring a converted try to take the score beyond the 50-point mark.

There were plenty of notable peformances, including a hat-trick of tries to wing Ben Lam while All Blacks TJ Perenara and Ardie Savea were also big contributors.

Wellington 52 (Ben Lam 3, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Asafo Aumua, Tolu Fahamokioa, James Blackwell, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop 5 con, TJ Va'a con) Southland 7 (Bill Fukofuka try; James Wilson con).