Ma’a Nonu scored three minutes from time and Jimmy Gopperth kicked the conversion as Wellington beat Canterbury 26-24 in the weekend’s premier Air New Zealand Cup match up.
And North Harbour were too strong for Otago.
Nonu, who had been well looked after by the Canterbury defence, beat three tacklers to level the scores at 24-all and leave Gopperth with an easy conversion for the victory. It was Canterbury’s second defeat of the competition after Waikato has also beaten them earlier in the season.
Canterbury led 21-9, but could not shut out the match.
Outside of Nonu, Canterbury scrumhalf Andy Ellis continues to impress and should be selected for the All Blacks end of season tour.
Tries - Cory Jane and Ma’a Nonu
Convs - Jimmy Gopperth (2)
Pens - Gopperth (4)
Tries - Steven Bruce and Casey Laulala
Conv - Cameron McIntyre
Pens - McIntrye (3)
D/Goal – Andy Ellis
North Harbour, down 13-9 after an hour, hit back to beat Otago 28-18.
Tries - James Rodley, Anthony Tuitavake and Nick Williams tries
Convs – Tusi Pisi (2)
Pens - Pisi (3)
Tries - Neil Brew (2)
Con – Nick Evans
Pens - Evans (2)