Highlanders earn hard fought win




The traveling Otago Highlanders must have felt like they were back in Dunedin after a heavy day of raining in Bloemfontein helped their cause, with the Kiwis winning 17-12 in a Super 14 match played on Saturday.

The visitors led 7-3 at the break, but the Cheetahs fought back to take the lead, and one they held to the 77th minute when replacement three-quarter Richard Kahui scored a brilliant try.

The Highlanders registered their second win of the campaign while the Cheetahs have now lost their second match at home. The Highlanders looked the better side, with their backs in good form when flyhalf Nick Evans and fullback Ben Blair weren’t kicking for territory.

The first half was a dour, kicking affair with only the Highlanders backs looking anything like scoring. And this they did right at the end of the first period when winger Roy Kinikinilau dived over in the corner.

They did have another chance, three-quarters of the way into the opening 40 minutes, but a fantastic double tackle by Springboks Os Durandt and Michael Claasens stopped Highlanders centre Seilala Mapusua on the line, forcing him to spill the ball.

The only response from the Cheetahs came via a 36th minute penalty by flyhalf Meyer Bosman, to open the scoring.

The first half was dominated by territorial kicking and unforced errors as the weather played a significant part in deciding the game-plans of the respective teams.

The Highlanders had three chances at goal before Bosman made the score 3-0 but Blair missed the first two and Evans the third. Blair did return to slot a difficult conversion and followed that up with the final attempt at goal, a conversion of Kahui’s try.



Penalties: Meyer Bosman (4)


Tries: Roy Kinikinilau, Richard Kahui Conversions: Ben Blair (2)

Penalties: Drop-goal: Nick Evans

Source : Sapa /tjd

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