Home Super Rugby Match Report – Epic second half gives Highlanders win over Chiefs

Match Report – Epic second half gives Highlanders win over Chiefs

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The Highlanders played one off the best games on Sunday when they had to come from behind to take a great win over the Chiefs.

It was a second half comeback we have not seen in a long time as they took the win in injury time 33-31.

It took the Chiefs the better part off 5 minutes to get the first try on the board when Boshier got through the Highlanders defence to score under the sticks. This gave the home side a 7-0 lead.

The Highlanders missed an early opportunity to get on the board with a missed penalty straight in front. The Chiefs got their second try 10 minutes in when McKenzie with a perfect pass to Lienert-Brown to crash over.

McKenzie knocked the conversion over to give his side a 14-0 lead.

As if it could get worst for the Highlanders Rob Thomson got a yellow card for a high tackle 3 minutes later leaving his struggling team with 14 men on the field. McKenzie let they pay for that mistake even more when he landed a 50 meter penalty to extend the lead to 17-0.

With only 14-men the Highlanders could not stop the Chiefs when they setup a driving maul with Slater the man at the end off that maul. McKenzie kicked the conversion over taking the Chiefs lead to 24-0 after 21 minutes.

The Highlanders finally could put some phases together with their pack close to teh Chiefs line to get their first try of the match when Mikaeke Tu’u crashed over. The Chiefs captain was also send to the bin which was a double blow for the home side.

This reduce the Chiefs lead to 24-7 which was the scoreline when the teams went into the break.

The Chiefs started the second half as they did the first with another great driving maul to send Slater over for his second off the match. This extended the Chiefs lead to 31-7 with 36 minutes left in the game.

From here the Highlanders launched one off the best comebacks we’ve seen in a long time.

First it was the backs with some great passes running into space to send Hunt down the line to score. That made the score 31-12 for the Chiefs in the 47th minute.

The next try came from a deep kick by McKenzie which send Smith into a massive gab which resulted in him getting over for the try. This reduced the lead further to only 31-19. with 24 minutes left in the half.

The next try for the Highlanders came again from great back play to send Nareki into space and sprinted down the field for his try. With the conversion successful the Highlanders were only 5 points behind.

The final nail in the coffin for the Chiefs came into injury time when the Highlanders got an attacking lineout five meters out. With the maul going nowhere Smith got the ball and again the perfect short pass to Tomkinson to go over for the winning try.

The conversion from Hunt gave them the win 33-31 over the Chiefs.

Scorers:

Chiefs: Tries:  Lachlan Boshier, Anton Lienert-Brown, Bradley Slater (2) Conversions: Damian McKenzie (4) Penalty: McKenzie

Highlanders: Tries: Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Mitch Hunt, Aaron Smith, Jona Nareki, Sio Tomkinson Conversions: Mitch Hunt (4)

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