Wellington Lions start season with a heavy loss to Tasman Mako

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The Wellington Lions have come off second best in their opening Mitre 10 Cup match against an impressive Tasman side after they were beaten 45-8 on Saturday.

Tasman's impressive defence was matched by their ability to take their chances as they forced the Lions into repeated mistakes throughout off the back of a dominant set piece.

In what were extremely difficult conditions at Blenheim's Landsdowne Park, the Lions were under pressure early as Tasman dominated possession and territory, often using long and wide kicks to turn Wellington around.

All Blacks loose forward Liam Squire was first to cross following a turnover inside the Wellington 22.

The home side extended their lead a short time later from a 5m drive before Jackson Garden-Bachop opened the Lions scoring for the season with a penalty.

However, a mistake from the kick off had the Lions under pressure again and Tasman showed just how ruthless they could be by taking advantange of it to score their third try to Hurricanes bound prop Tyrel Lomax.

Then a cruel blow for Wellington near the back end of the first half as they looked certain to score only for Tasman fullback and captain David Havili to snatch the ball out of the air and run 85m to score.

What could have been 19-10 was then 24-3, a score the Mako maintained into the break.

The Lions needed to start the second half well but an inability to turn half chances into points continued to hurt them.

Conversely, Tasman continued to take their chances, although they were helped by Wellington mistakes close to their line.

Prop Alex Fidow did cross for Wellington but they were not accurate enough and their skill set let them down too often.

Wing Wes Goosen was one of the Lions to stand out on attack along with Peter Umaga-Jensen while Fidow had some quality moments in the open.

The Lions now prepare to face Hawke's Bay in Napier on Friday night.