Wellington was awarded a penalty try in this match. Amazingly it was the first awarded to the team since they played Canterbury at the now defunct Athletic Park in Wellington on 1 September 1996. Then, it was instrumental in helping the host side win a close match 29-28.
Some facts and figures from last Saturday’s 28-21 NPC quarter-final win for the Wellington Lions over the Hawke’s Bay Magpies – by Peter Marriott
Quarter-final v Hawke’s Bay: Won 28-21
The two sides had earlier met in Napier during Round 7 of regular play (it also doubled as a Ranfurly Shield challenge match) which Wellington won 19-12. Wellington’s margin of victory in that match and this one was the same on both occasions: seven points.
Hawke’s Bay failed to score in the first half. The last time Wellington kept a side scoreless after 40 minutes was against Canterbury at Wellington in their Semi-final match of 2019 when the home side was ahead 17-0 at the break. Wellington went on to win the match 30-19.
Wellington and Hawke’s Bay have now played 29 matches at NPC level. Wellington has won 18 of them to Hawke’s Bay’s nine. There have been two drawn matches.
Wellington has won their last eight matches in a row. This is their best winning sequence since they won their first nine matches in succession in 2013.
Wellington has won their last six matches in succession at Sky Stadium.
Wellington was awarded a penalty try. Amazingly it was the first awarded to the team since they played Canterbury at the now defunct Athletic Park in Wellington on 1 September 1996. Then, it was instrumental in helping the host side win a close match 29-28.
A total of 10 penalty tries have been awarded so far in 2022: Auckland has been the beneficiary of four of them.
In their match against North Harbour at Albany in 2015, Wellington was awarded a penalty try but on that occasion it was attributed to the player, Wes Goosen.
When Wellington and Hawke’s Bay met at Wellington in 2021 the visitors (who won the match 31-28) scored the last of their four tries in the 70th minute. In their earlier match this year Hawke’s Bay’s 12 points were made up of four penalties. They did not score their first try in the Quarter-final until the 53rd minute which means they remained tryless against Wellington for a total of 143 minutes (or two hours and 23 minutes) over the course of three matches.
Jackson Garden-Bachop kicked 11 points to take his total in 87 matches to 678, just five shy of passing Jon Preston (682 points in 73 matches) to move into fourth place on Wellington’s all- time point-scorer’s ladder.
Included in Garden-Bachop’s 11 points was a drop goal: just his second. His first was against Canterbury in 2019.
However, prior to that no-one had kicked one for Wellington since Fa’atonu Fili did so against Waikato back in 2010.
Drop goals are no longer regarded as an essential method of gathering points during a match and in the 74 matches played so far in the Bunnings Warehouse competition, just four have been kicked.
In the whole of last year’s competition, none were kicked.
Ruben Love scored his fourth try of the season including one in each of his last three matches.
For the other try scorer, Richard Judd, it was his first of the season.
Wellington has now scored 49 tries in home matches against Hawke’s Bay.
Josh Southall, who was named as a replacement, was due to make his debut for Wellington but failed to come off the bench.
Ha’amea Ahio was also a replacement and he too failed to make the field. However, Ahio had previously played five matches for Wellington after making his debut against Bay of Plenty in 2016.
His last match was the only one he appeared in during 2017: against Southland at Invercargill on 7 October that year: five years and one day previously.
Hawke’s Bay’s Lincoln McClutchie scored a try and kicked three conversions for a total of 11 points. In the earlier round he scored all of his side’s points: four penalties for a total of 12 points. In the two matches his aggregate was 23 points and he missed none of his seven attempts at goal.
Wellington’s overall record in all National Provincial Championship matches is played 486, won 304 (62.6%), lost 170 and drawn 12.
These days drawn matches are not meant to happen due to the Golden Point rule. Funnily enough though Waikato and Hawke’s Bay managed to achieve one during the first round of this year’s competition despite playing the extra time demanded by the Golden Point rule.
Wellington last drew a match (27-27) on 17 August 2019 against Hawke’s Bay at Napier.