Lomu returns to action

Jonah Lomu made his long-awaited comeback to New Zealand provincial rugby on Sunday as a second-half replacement in North Harbour's 31-16 defeat of his former Wellington club. [more]

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Jonah Lomu made his long-awaited comeback to New Zealand provincial rugby on Sunday as a second-half replacement in North Harbour’s 31-16 defeat of his former Wellington club.

Lomu was set to feature for the North Shore side in the 2005 NPC after his recovery from a kidney transplant.

But a series of injuries saw him miss the entire season, with an attempted comeback at Cardiff also stifled.

But he finally returned as Harbour completed a fourth win in four games.

The former All Black winger told Sky Sports: "It’s just good to get some time out there and not get injured, and get some time on the field, in New Zealand."

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Allan Pollock’s team remain two points adrift of neighbours Auckland in Pool A, after the provincial champions claimed a bonus point from their 45-27 win over Bay of Plenty at Eden Park.

The hosts came back from a 27-6 deficit with 39 unanswered points to also tally a fourth straight victory.

Taranaki scored their first Pool A win with a 17-12 defeat of neighbouring Manawatu in the group’s other game.

Former Leinster fly-half David Holwell led Northland to their first provincial victory in three seasons at Mount Smart Stadium.

Holwell, Jake Paringatai and Josh Levi scored tries as the Taniwhas claimed a 21-17 victory over Counties-Manukau Steelers, their first in 30 attempts.

Skipper Holwell said: "It’s been a long time and something we haven’t been proud of.

"It’s been a monkey on our back for the last couple of seasons and it’s good to have got rid of it.

"It’ll give the boys a lot of confidence and a lot of self-belief. It’s great we can deliver it for out fans."

Otago’s All Blacks fly-half Nick Evans scored a last-gasp in a 24-21 win over Waikato at Carisbrook.

Otago moved back to the top of Pool B after Canterbury’s successful Ranfurly Shield defence against Southland.

Rob Penney’s side scored a 24-7 win over the Stags at Jade Stadium.

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