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Highlanders victorius

by Byo24News
25 February 2011 | 1648 Views
The Highlanders have continued an unexpected their winning start to the Vodacom Super Rugby, beating the Chiefs 23-13 after trailing 13-6 at half-time on Friday.

The Highlanders finished 11th in the last two seasons of Super Rugby but have flourished in the new competition. They had an upset 14-9 win over the Hurricanes in last week's opening round and pulled off a second surprise win on Friday for their best start in more than six years.

The Chiefs dominated the first half against a mistake-plagued Highlanders, but the took team took the upper hand in the second spell as the Chiefs lapsed into errors.

No 8 Nasi Manu and wing Kade Poki scored second half tries while replacement flyhalf Robbie Robinson stabilised the Highlanders' backline and kicked a penalty and two conversions to help alter the course of the match.

Outstanding matches by back rowers Manu and Adam Thompson set up the win for the Highlanders who repeatedly forced turnovers in the second half, depriving the Chiefs of critical possession and territory.

Manu and Thompson also led counterattacks which resulted in tries, thrilling a crowd of more than 20 000 at the Highlanders' home ground of Carisbrook.

"It's about getting respect back in our jersey. A great crowd turns up, the boys get a win and you've got to cherish it," Highlanders captain Jamie McIntosh said.

The Chiefs had 71 percent of territory before half-time, although the Highlanders enjoyed 57 percent of possession, a mark of how often the Highlanders gave up the ball.

The tables turned in the second half and a vigorous forward performance by the Highlanders at the breakdowns forced turnovers and set the scene for their comeback.

"They were pretty resilient and we struggled to get our hands on the ball in the second half," Chiefs captain Mils Muliaina said.

"We gave away penalties which kept us in our 22 and cost us. We had too much turnover ball and they capitalised on it. Before you can look up you're back down your end."

The match opened with a penalty duel between flyhalves Lima Sopoaga for Highlanders and former All Black Mike Delany for the Chiefs.

Sopoaga missed an early attempt but landed another after five minutes. Delany replied in the 13th minute, Sopoaga gained the lead four minutes later, then Delany leveled the score for a second time.

Delany went on to score all of the Chiefs' points, converting his own superb try in the 23rd minute.

Fullback Muliaina put No 8 Liam Messam into a gap on the right hand side, stayed in support to take a return pass then handed off to Tanerau Latimer who set up a ruck near the posts.

Teams: 

Highlanders:
15. Ben Smith, 14. James Paterson, 13. Kendrick Lynn, 12. Shaun Treeby, 11. Kade Poki, 10. Lima Sopoaga, 9. Jimmy Cowan, 8. Nasi Manu, 7. Alando Soakai, 6. Adam Thomson, 5. Josh Bekhuis, 4. Jarrad Hoeata, 3. David Te Moana, 2. Jason Rutledge, 1. Jamie Mackintosh (captain)

Substitutes: 16. Mahonri Schwalger, 17. Bronson Murray, 18. Joe Tuineau, 19. John Hardie, 20. Aaron Smith, 21. Robbie Robinson, 22. Siale Piutau

Chiefs:
15. Mils Muliaina (captain), 14. Lelia Masaga, 13. Jackson Willison, 12. Dwayne Sweeney, 11. Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10. Mike Delany, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8. Liam Messam, 7. Tanerau Latimer, 6. Scott Waldrom, 5. Isaac Ross, 4. Hayden Triggs, 3. Nathan White, 2. Aled de Malmanche, 1. Toby Smith

Substitutes: 16. Ben May, 17. Daniel Perrin, 18. Culum Retallick, 19. Steven Setephano, 20. Brendon Leonard, 21. Stephen Donald, 22. Tim Nanai-Williams





Highlanders Rugby

Source: Sapa

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