Wellington 42 Manawatu 15
Wellington are going to have to stop making life so tough on themselves when they finally come up against some of the heavy-hitters in the ITM Cup this season.
After cruising past the underwhelming Counties Manukau and Taranaki in their first two outings, Wellington stumbled to a pair of victories this week over Championship opposition and didn't look flash in the process.
They held off North Harbour 35-27 on Wednesday night and were made to work for a 42-15 win over Manawatu at the Cake Tin today.
Wellington fielded a starting XV with 13 players with Super Rugby caps — while Manawatu only had three — but Wellington's vast advantage in experience wasn't evident on the field.
Wellington 42 (Ross Filipo 2, Joe Hill, Tim Bateman, Afa Fa'atau tries; Lima Sopoaga 4 con, 3 pen) Manawatu 15 (Nic Stirzaker 2 tries; Nate George pen, con) HT: 12-15