The Wellington Pride eased to a 88-3 win over Tasman in Nelson on Sunday in their fourth round Farah Palmer Cup match, to book their place in the Women’s NPC Championship semi-finals with two rounds remaining.
The Pride ran in 14 unanswered tries to beat Tasman and move to the top of the table, leading 31-3 at halftime and scoring a further eight second half tries.
In a complete team performance, the Pride’s hunger and commitment proved too much for the Tasman side, with 12 players crossing the chalk. Left wing Ayesha Leti-L’iga scored a hat-trick, taking her 2018 season tally for both Oriental-Rongotai in club rugby and for the Pride to 48 tries in 16 games.
The Pride opened the scoring in the sixth minute, Leti L’iga running back a kick, breaking tackles and finding hooker Alicia Print on her inside who pinned her ears back and scored under the uprights.
Right wing Monica Tagoai powered over to score their second try soon after, ahead of Tasman enjoying their best period of the game over the next 20 minutes. Organised defence kept them at bay and a penalty to centre Hayley Hutana was their only reward.
The Pride closed out the first half with three more tries, to second five-eighth Amanda Rasch, openside flanker Sinead To’oala Ryder, and Leti L’iga.
Leti L’iga opened the second half scoring with a 50 metre try under the posts from a kick-return, extending the lead to 38-3.
First five-eighth Accacia Te Iwimate benefited from a strong build-up, before she put blindside flanker Nina Foaese in a hole with a lovely delayed pass. Foaese in turn found prop Angel Uila in support who dived over to raise the half century.
Tagoai ran strongly in open play and linked up with industrious lock Joanah Ngan-Woo for the next try.
Replacement back Bernadette Robertson ran freely and set up Leti-L’iga to run in her hat-trick
Replacement halfback Montana Heslop and captain and No. 8 Jackie Patea-Fereti scored the next two tries from tighthead scrum wins, before Roberston and Dora Laupola shut the door on Tasman with a barnstorming run to the line to end the contest.
Wellington Pride 88 (Ayesha Leti-L’iga 3, Alicia Print, Monica Tagoai, Amanda Rasch, Sinead To’oala Ryder, Jackie Patea-Fereti, Accaia Te Iwimate, Angel Uila, Joanah Ngan-Woo, Montana Heslop, Bernadette Robertson, Dora Laupola tries; Amanda Rasch 9 con) beat Tasman 3 (Hayley Hutana pen).HT 31-3
Wellington Development miss out to Tasman B
On Saturday, the Wellington Development team lost 39-46 to Tasman B at Porirua Park in the first match of their four-game campaign.
Tasman led 41-5 at halftime, but Wellington came back in the second 40 minutes.
Both sides piled on the points when playing with the use of a moderate southerly wind.
After conceding six straight tries in the first half, Wellington had scored three tries to start the second half and then crossed for more tries in the 67th, 73rd and 78th minutes to set up the close result.
Right wing Villami Fine scored a second half double, while centre Malachai Unasa, replacement backs Albert Polu and Esi Komaisaivai and replacement prop Jonathan Fuiomano also scored.
Fullback Andrew Wells had scored Wellington’s only first half try, running on to a kick into he in-goal by first five-eighth Pakai Turia.
They were ultimately left to rue making a host of errors in the first half that gave Tasman too big a lead to overcome.
The Wellington Development side play the Hawke’s Bay Saracens in Napier next weekend, a side familiar to many of the players having met them over the past few weeks in the Hurricanes Development series.
Age-grade teams all win well
At Porirua Park, the Wellington U13s defeated the Horowhenua Kapiti U14s 61-19.
In Levin, the Wellington U16As beat the Manawatu 34-14 and the Wellington U16s Development beat Horowhenua-Kapiti 64-14 at Playford Park and the Wellington Community U18s beat Horowhenua-Kapiti 81-17 at Levin Domain.
In Napier, the Wellington Samoans U18s beat the East Coast U18s 60-13 and the Wellington Centurions U18s defeated the Poverty Bay U18s 57-10.