Waikato were ramped against Wellington in their opening round of the Mitre 10 Cup on Saturday, beating them 53-28
Wellington had a great team on paper with All Blacks in the side like Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara and Asafo Aumua as well as plenty of Super Rugby players.
Wellington got a bonus point for four tries which at least do not leave them with nothing form the clash.
The Premiership clash finished favourably for Waikato when gritty captain and No 8 Luke Jacobson crashed over for their fifth try with six minutes left, with McKenzie’s six penalties giving the Mooloos an emphatic advantage despite Wellington also notching a bonus point for their four tries.
Wellington had plenty of opportunity but the bounce of the ball did not favor them.
It was the Sevea brothers in tandem for the opening try when Ardie peeled off a scrum to offload to his brother Julian on the wing. He bumped off one defender to get over the line.
McKenzie with the boot kept Waikato in touch until a great break by Lienert-Brown led to Roe’s try giving the host a 13-7 lead.
They extended their lead when Mitch Jacobson charged down a loose kick which saw Smith getting over under the post.
McKenzie kicked three more penalties but Wellington did hit back before halftime when Fifita went over for his try from a rolling maul and Garden-Bachop also got on the scoresheet before the end of the half.
Thomson made a crucial score from a grabber but McKenzie added three more penalties between Thomson and Ardie Savea tries to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
At the end Waikato ended stronger to take an impressive win in the first round.
Waikato 53 (Xavier Roe, Fletcher Smith, Adam Thomson, Damian McKenzie, Luke Jacobson tries; McKenzie 5 con, 6 pen) Wellington 28 (Julian Savea, Vaea Fifita, Connor Garden-Bachop, Ardie Savea tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop 4 con). HT: 23-21.