Rugby: Wellington muscle too much for Otago

Otago hooker Shota Horie goes on the charge against Wellington in their ITM Cup match at Forsyth...
Otago hooker Shota Horie goes on the charge against Wellington in their ITM Cup match at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. Photo Craig Baxter
Big strong men will always run over smaller and tired men.

Especially when they have all the ball and have their tails up.

Wellington was a convincing 49-22 winner over Otago at Forsyth Barr Stadium tonight.

It led 35-10 at the break, and scored seven converted tries to go back to the top of the ITM Cup premiership.

It virtually had the game won by the end of the first quarter, leading 28-3 after 19 minutes.

It was all out attack from the men from the capital, and it is going to take a committed defensive outfit to finish in front of this Wellington side.

Otago did not provide that though it stood stronger as the game went on.

Wellington is staked full of Super 15 players while Otago is not. In some ways it was as simple as that.

Otago missed far too many tackles and any 50-50 balls were gobbled up by the Wellington side.

The men from the capital won the battle up front, their scrum particularly dominant, and their big strong loose forwards ran riot all over the park.

They recycled the ball with ease and showed patience on attack to just wait until the gap appeared and then spring free like a deadly cobra.

Otago showed the effects of three games in eight days and fell off more than 20 tackles in the game.

Boom loose forward Ardie Savea was all over the park for Wellington and made some fine runs in his 40 minutes on the field.

If Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett is not camping outside the Savea household securing the young man's signature he must have rocks in his head,

Savea looks a rare talent but there will be more severe examinations ahead for him as the Otago defence in the first half was as loose as Greek fiscal policy.

No 8 Genesis Mamea also ran hard although he tired as the game went on.

Wellington had to make do without first five-eighth Lima Sopoaga, who was a late scratching with a leg injury, but it did not matter as Tim Bateman stepped in with ease.

Wellington started like a house on fire and scored its first try after five minutes.

Right winger Matt Proctor scored in the right hand corner after good work inside by Ngatai.

Jason Woodward added the extras from the sideline and it looked like it was going to be a long day at the office for the home team.

It got worse for the home team when it coughed up the ball to Savea from a disrupted scrum.

Savea just skipped away 20m out and Wellington was scoring at a point a minute.

It then scored another quick couple of tries and a cricket score was looming.

Others to impress for Wellington were second five-eighth Shaun Treeby and winger Matt Proctor, who scored a hat trick of tries.

Front rower Liam Coltman continued his impressive form for Otago, while flanker Hugh Blake played well in his 40 minutes on the field.

Wellington (Matt Proctor 3, Ardie Savea, Jeremy Thrush, Frae Wilson, Jason Woodward tries, Woodward 7 con) Otago 22 (Tom Franklin, TJ Ioane, Shota Horie tries, Hayden Parker 2 con, pen). Halftime: 35-10

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