Ma’a Nonu inspired Wellington to a fortunate 21-14 win over Otago at Carisbrook on Friday.
Nonu scored the match winning try with nine minutes to go when he stuck his head down and outmuscled the Otago defence from close to the line.
The result was welcome relief to the hot-and-cold All Black back, who had a shocker against Waikato last weekend.
Otago held an 11-7 lead at half-time, thanks to two Nick Evans penalties and a try from Josh Blackie. Wellington, however, were robbed of a try when a touch judge incorrectly ruled that Nonu had put a foot on the line before grounding the ball. Replays showed otherwise.
Fortunately for the visitors, Cory Jane responded with a try soon after to make it a four-point ball game at the break.
Otago – Try: Josh Blackie. Penalties: Nick Evans (3).
Wellington – Tries: Cory Jane, Tana Umaga, Ma’a Nonu. Conversions: Jimmy Gopperth (3)