It went down to the wire as both teams ended up with 23 points at full-time, sending the game into extra time. It was McKenzie with a penalty that sealed it in extra time for the Chiefs.
It was a close match throughout the 80 minutes and at the end a 23-all at the end of 80 minutes seemed fare reflection but with the new law in the competition the two teams went to golden point.
This was a third win in a row for the Chiefs and the misery of last year competition is long forgotten. They are now just two points behind the Blues in second place and have moved two points clear of the Highlanders.
It was an exciting game from the start with both teams willing to throw the ball around and play it wide.
Although the home side had an opportunity to get in front with a penalty it was the Chiefs that got the first points with a try by Etene Nanai-Seturo.
The home side hit back with a try by Lentjes.
It was not the kickers day with McKenzie and Hunt missing a few. He did finally got one over to extend their lead to five points going into halftime.
It was Shannon Frizell that made the break early in the second half for the Highlanders. His offload to Smith saw the All Black go over for the first try of the second half.
That levelled the score at 10-all.
A penalty from McKenzie saw the Chiefs retake the lead. Hunt levelled it again minutes later with a penalty of his own.
It seemed that it was one for you and one for me as McKenzie put the Chiefs in the lead again with another penalty minutes later.
The Chiefs then put themselves in a perfect position to take the win when Angus Ta’avao went over for another try with McKenzie kicking the conversion over.
That gave the visitors a 10 point lead.
It was the Highlanders time to score next with Ioane getting through a gab to score next to the poles.
With three minutes to go the Highlanders got a penalty right in front and they kicked it over to level the score again, sending the game into extra time for a golden point.
At the end it was McKenzie who slotted over a kick from halfway to take the win.
Highlanders – Tries: James Lentjes, Aaron Smith, Josh Ioane. Conversions: Josh Ioane. Penalties: Mitch Hunt, Josh Ioane.
Chiefs – Tries: Etene Nanai-Seturo, Angus Ta’avao. Conversions: Damian McKenzie (2). Penalties: Damian McKenzie (4).
|Apr 10, 2021||9:00 am||Super Rugby New Zealand||Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021||90'|