Highlander have beaten the Chiefs 29-25 in the first game of Round 17 this weekend. With this lost the changes of the Chiefs defending their title have slipped away.
With almost all the possession in the first half the Chiefs made to many errors on attack to get a demanding lead which should have seen them shutout the Highlanders.
The Chiefs opened the scoring with an early penalty, but the Highlander soon hit back and score the opening try of the match. New All Black centre Malakai Fekitoa powered through a Robbie Fruean tackle which set up Patrick Osborne for the opening try.
Chiefs hit straight back with Cruden chipping a beautiful ball through for Sweeney to collect and score the Chiefs first try. Cruden’s conversion put the Chiefs back into the lead and he extended that lead with a penalty to 13-7.
Highlanders Lima Sopoaga cut the gap a little and at half time the Chiefs lead 13-10.
With a halftime lead 13-10 the Highlanders would have be very confidant for the second half and drew level straight after the break with a penalty to make the score level at 13 all.
From that moment on the Highlanders took their changes and with a breakaway try from Ben Smith took the lead to 20-13.
It was not long after that the Chiefs were penalised with the Highlanders taking full advantage of the referee’s decisions and turned it into points. Highlanders extend their lead quickly to 26-13 as the Chiefs got penalised in kickable positions.
The Chiefs gave their fans a glimmer of hope when they score two tries in the last ten minutes to come within four points of the Highlanders score. The Highlanders kept the Chiefs out for the last few minutes and secure a great win at home over the defending champions, final score 29-25.
Final Score Highlanders 29 (10) Chiefs 25 (13)
Tries – P.Osborne, B.Smith
Pen – L.Sopoaga 4, H.Parker
Con – L.Sopoaga 2
Tries – D.Sweeney, T.Nanai-Williams, J.Hohneck
Pen – A.Cruden, G.Anscombe
Con – A.Cruden 2