Aaron Smith was the difference between the team moving on to next week’s semi-finals and the team that bows out of the competition when the Highlanders beat the Chiefs 24-14 on Saturday morning.
His brilliance was yet evident when he was at the centre of two tries the Highlanders scored against the two time champions.
The game was played at a fast pace and just never really let up till the final whistle of the match and with that a great spectacle to watch.
The game start with another very controversial decision from the TMO decided that there was a foot in touch by the Highlanders before they went over to what they thought was the first try.
Highlander supporters would also felt that referee Pollock had given most 50/50 calls for the Chiefs and some decisions which he just let go in the first forty minutes. This was a main factor for the Chiefs to be able to stay in touch and even lead the Highlanders 9-8 at the break.
To say referee Pollock had not the best of games will be an understatement but luckily it did not change the outcome of the game.
The Highlander though had been showing more ability with their attack and there defense was something special throughout the match.
With the second half the Highlanders started like a house on fire and scored a brilliant try yet again with Smith being the mastermind with his brilliance.
The Chiefs kept on making mistakes and giving penalties away which gave the Highlander the change to stretch the lead. They did got a try back in the second half with some strong pick and go but the Highlanders were able to defend the lead and with two more penalties closed the game out to move on to the semi-finals next week.
For the Highlanders: Tries: Naholo 2 Con: Sopoaga Pens: Sopoaga 4
For the Chiefs: Try: Retallick Pens: Horrell 3