Click here to Watch North Harbour v Wellington Live Thursday 20th August 07:35 GMT
After last seasons disastrous relegation from the ITM Cup Premier Division, when they finished bottom of the table with just one win to their name, the Wellington Lions began the new campaign as they look for a rapid return to the top echelon, with a stunning away success against the reigning Champions, Taranaki Bulls at the Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth. On Thursday, they face another road trip, to take on North Harbour at the QBE Stadium.
North Harbour started their season at Bay of Plenty, where they went down to a 11-20 defeat. However, if outside half Matt McGahan had kicked his goals in the first half the outcome could have been quite different. The Lions have won the last five matches between Thursday's protagonists, including a 58-34 victory last season in a crossover fixture. Wellington's only win during their ultimately unsuccessful relegation battle. North Harbour last tasted victory against the Lions back in 2006, when they won a home match by 31-16.
Wellington's win in Round 1 sees them occupy joint second place in the Championship table, alongside the Bay of Plenty on four points, just one behind Hawke's Bay, who secured a try-scoring bonus point in their 39-10 win over Northland.
Tags: ITM Cup
, Yarrow Stadium
, North Harbour
, Matt McGahan