Fijian winger Manasa Mataele two tries for Canterbury was not enough as the side went down to Wellington 35-30 in an enthralling encounter last night.
The capital side avenged their golden point loss to Canterbury last year with Peter Umaga-Jensen try sealing the win for the Lions.
Armed with All Black Sam Whitelock, Canterbury, who went into the game with a 3-1 record.
Down 23-15 early in the second half, Canterbury made Wellington pay when prop Alex Fidow was yellow-carded in the 48th minute for a professional foul under the shadows of his own posts.
Mataele scored almost immediately, diving over out wide after a sloppy scrum to complete his brace.
Fellow wing Chay Fihaki got in on the action himself shortly after to give Canterbury their first lead after 58 minutes and Fergus Burke’s penalty goal extended Canterbury’s lead to seven.
The visitors settled down and got into their groove, stringing 15 phases together in the lead up to Mataele’s first of two tries on the night.
Fidow crashed over in the 82nd minute to force a golden point.