The Highlanders came back in a brilliant display in the second half to beat the Blues 26-20 on Saturday. It was all led by the All Black Ben Smith who stood out in all aspects of the game and especially in defence.
The Blues had the better start of the two teams with great attacking play and trying to get over the Highlanders solid defense.
The Blues have been great with the battle in the air leaving the Highlanders in their own half and defending for all they worth.
The Highlanders made a turnover in their own twenty two and got themsleves in the Blues half forcing a penalty to take the lead 3-0 after 8 min.
The Blues kept the pressure on with their attacking play and found space and with great hands and some steps got over for a brilliant try to start their end of the scoreboard ticking over as they take the lead 7-3.
The Blues was dominating almost all aspect of the game and dominating the scrums as well.
The Highlanders struggled to get into the game as the Blues kept the pressure on and forcing the Highlanders into mistakes.
With two more penalties in the Highlanders twenty two the Blues extended the lead to 13-3 after 25 min.
With the Blues making a mistake the Highlander took full advantage in their own half and although their was a suspicious forward pass the referee let it go and with great hands and continuity the Highlanders got their first try on the board.
The Blues worked from the lineout and and scored another try after some hard work from their forward taking their lead to 20-10.
It was all Highlanders in the forst ten minutes of the second half putting the pressure on the Blues through solid attack and the wall had to break as they socred their second try of the match to make the scores 20-all after 48 min.
The Highlanders had all the ball making the game a bit faster and getting the better of the Blues in the second half.
The Blues kept on struggling to keep ball in hand with the Highlanders defence in their faces. A penalty gave the Highlanders the lead of 23-20.
The Highlanders extended the lead with another penalty and they kept the Blues out to take the win 26-20.
Highlanders – Tries: Ben Smith, Malakai Fekitoa. Conversions: Marty Banks (2). Penalties: Banks (4).
Blues – Tries: Charlie Faumuina, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti. Conversions: Piers Francis (2). Penalties: Francis (2).