Wellington, inspired by another outstanding performance by their All Black-bound winger Hosea Gear, eventually quelled a typically determined Taranaki challenge to win a hard-fought Air NZ Cup quarterfinal in the capital.

The Lions ran in seven tries, six of them converted by Piri Weepu, to prevail 50-30 in a match that at various stages of the second half had monumental upset written all over it.

Taranaki, on the back of some outstanding work at the breakdown, scored three tries themselves and twice got within six points of the Lions in the second spell to hint at something special.

On the second occasion, when wing Paul Perez slipped across for his second try with seven minutes remaining, the visitors were within one more score of stunning their fellow Hurricanes franchise members.