It was not a good weekend for North Harbour rugby.
The Wellington Lions’ decisive victory over Taranaki on Friday night saw them secure their semi-final sport for the Mitre 10 Cup, leaving the North Harbour men’s team shut out of the final four.
And in the continuation of a thrilling season for top level women’s rugby, Wellington Pride dominated North Harbour Hibiscus on Saturday in their Farah Palmer Cup Championship semi-final at Jerry Collins Stadium, with a definitive victory of 33 to 7 to secure a home final.
But it wasn’t the 40-point margin of the previous encounter pof the two teams, and victory was hard to predict at half-time with the score tied 7-7.
A good start by the Pride saw captain and No.8 Jackie Patea-Fereti touch down early for a converted try, but Hibiscus lock Sophie Fisher redeemed two missed penalties with her conversion just on halftime after blindside Pia Tapsell scored Harbour’s only try – their only points of the game.
Wellington notched up 26 points in the second half, with another try for Patea-Fereti followed by five-pointers from Nina Foase, centre Fa’asua Makisi, and Eleta Taito.
The win saw Wellington posting 392 points (with 60 tries) for the season. The Pride will trump Auckland’s record for most points in a single season if they score more than 21 points next weekend.
That Farah Palmer Cup Championship Final on Saturday 20 October at Porirua Park will see the Pride face Otago Spirit, who defeated Hawke’s Bay 34-10 in their semi-final in Dunedin.