Jackson Garden-Bachop sparks brilliant late counter attack play as Wellington pummel Canterbury

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NZN

Wellington have pulled off a major National Provincial Championship upset, slaying giants Canterbury 60-14.

In a battle between the leading sides of the Premiership and Championship, sloppy penalties and uncharacteristic errors condemned the Cantabrians to their most comprehensive defeat in recent history.

They conceded eight tries and never appeared in the hunt, scoring just two.

Nevertheless, the red-and-blacks remain on top of the Premiership standings, while Wellington further bolstered their promotion hopes.

The Lions' Championship lead now stands at 11 points.

"I thought we played an entertaining game of rugby and I'm really proud of the performance," captain Julian Savea said.

"I was just happy we put on a good 80-minute performance."

The Lions took the lead against the run of play, with star winger Savea finishing off Jackson Garden-Bachop's eighth-minute intercept.

Yet as the match wore on, the Wellingtonians slowly took control, mercilessly seizing upon Canterbury's 10 knock-ons and 26 turnovers.

Asafo Aumua bagged his side's second with a try-of-the-season contender, breaking down the left and leaving George Bridge for dead to score.

Further second-half tries to Isaia Walker-Leawere, Du'Plessis Kirifi, Ben Lam, Regan Verney and a Malo Tuitama double completed the rout.

"We'll definitely enjoy the night tonight - (but) it's just another game in the competition and we have to focus on next week," Savea said.

Wellington will next play Waikato in Hamilton on Saturday, while Canterbury will go toe-to-toe with Premiership rivals North Harbour.

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