The Wellington Saints have bounced back from Friday's loss to the Hawks with a big win over the Taranaki Steelformers Mountainairs at TSB Arena. Young Ezra Vaigafa had a career high for the home team who lead from the get go to the let go, allowing coach Zico Coronel to unleash the youngsters against his hometown team.
The Airs were kept below 20 points in each quarter by the stifling Saints defence, with only three Airs players scoring in double digits. Tai Wynyard was a strong presence down low for Taranaki, but he alone was no match for the multi-weaponed Saints line-up.
The third quarter was the best of the bunch for the Airs, hanging around as they did with a 15 point deficit, but it gradually stretched out again, and the Saints remain unbeaten at home.
It certainly wasn't a perfect performance from the Saints, who looked tired from their tight loss the night before in Napier. Taane Samuel fell foul off the whistle donners, while at separate times Kenneth Tuffin and Tohi Smith-Milner looked to suffer minor injuries. It was enough to get the job done though, and another strong crowd in the capital city will look forward with relish to next week's rematch with the Hawks.
Wellington Saints (89) defeated Taranaki Airs (63) - BOXSCORE
Saints: Leon Henry 13pts 11rbs, Tohi Smith-Milner 15pts 4rbs 3stl, Ezra Vaigafa 11pts 6rbs
Airs: Tai Wynyard 15pts 7-11fg, Baxter Fenwick 10pts 4-5fg
Stuff MVP Votes
Dion Prewster (Saints) 6
Tohi Smith -Milner (Saints) 5
Tai Wynyard (Airs) 5
Leon Henry (Saints) 4
Kerwin Roach JF (Saints) 4
Ezra Vaigafa (Saints) 3
Baxter Fenwick (Airs) 3
(Photo Credit: PhotosportNZ)