Highlanders get their second win


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The Highlanders scored their second win of the year when they defeated the Central Cheetahs 31-28 in a see-saw Super 14 contest on Friday.

The Cheetahs led 14-11 at the break. The victory moved the New Zealanders into 11th spot on the points table, while the Cheetahs stayed 13th after their 10th loss of the year.

The home team did, however, pick up two bonus points after outscoring the Highlanders four tries to three.

The men from New Zealand enjoyed the majority of ball in the early exchanges and had the home side on the back foot for lengthy periods and it was they who were on the scoreboard first through a Mike Delany penalty.

The Highlanders flyhalf collected another three points for his team midway through the period, and only minutes after scrumhalf Toby Morland had knocked the ball on with just the tryline in front of him.

It was a deserved lead for the men from Otago, but it would be nearly 20 minutes later before they scored again.

The Cheetahs finally came to life after 28 minutes when centre JW Jonker dived over in the right corner after a period of sustained pressure by the home team.

The conversion by Conrad Barnard gave them a one-point advantage.

Ten minutes later it was the turn of big No 8 Duane Vermeulen to crash over the line and extend the Cheetahs’ lead when he collected a pass from scrumhalf Noel Oelschig, who’d caught the Highlanders napping with a quick-tap penalty. The conversion made it 14-6 in favour of the Cheetahs.

The home team though were rocked just before the interval when replacement back Aaron Bancroft went over in the left corner and minutes after the restart Adam Thomson scored a superb try after a move he’d started deep inside Cheetahs territory after intercepting the ball.

After bolting upfield and being halted in his tracks by Jongi Nokwe he flicked the ball to Paul Williams who in turn passed it back to Thomson, who’d got back to his feet, to crash over in the corner.

Delany converted to put his side 18-14 up. The Highlanders flyhalf then slotted two penalties to give his team a commanding 24-14 lead before setting up Bancroft for his second try; the outside back running on to the ball and diving over after Delany’s clever kick behind the advancing Cheetahs backs. The conversion ensured a 17-point advantage.

The Cheetahs though got back into the contest with 15 minutes remaining with a converted try by replacement Hendro Scholtz and, with the Highlanders down to 13 men after Tom Donnelly and Blair Stewart were sent to the sin-bin, the Cheetahs scored their fourth try by Rory Duncan.

The successful conversion made it a three-point game, but the men from Otago hung on for just their second win of the season.


Final score Cheetahs 28 Highlanders 31



Tries – JW Jonker, Duane Vermeulen, Hendro Scholtz, Rory Duncan.
Conversions – Conrad Barnard (2), Meyer Bosman (2)

Tries – Aaron Bancroft (2), Adam Thomson
Conversions – Mike Delany (2) Penalties – Delany (4).




Hennie Daniller, Eddie Fredericks, JW Jonker, Meyer Bosman, Jongi Nokwe, Conrad Barnard, Falie Oelschig, Duanne Vermeulen, Juan Smith (capt.), Heinrich Brussow, Barend Pieterse, Rory Duncan, CJ van der Linde, Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez.

Reserves: Richardt Strauss, Bees Roux, David de Villiers, Hendro Scholtz, Tewis de Bruyn, Bevin Fortuin, Hendrik Meyer.


15. Paul Williams, 14. Matt Saunders , 13. Brett Mather, 12. Johnny Leota, 11. Fetu’u Vainikolo, 10. Mike Delany, 9. Toby Morland , 8. Craig Newby ( c ), 7. Tim Boys, 6. Adam Thomson , 5. Tom Donnelly, 4. Hoani MacDonald, 3. Clint Newland, 2. David Hall/Jason Macdonald, 1. Jamie Mackintosh

Reserves: 16. Jason Macdonald/David Hall, 17. Chris King, 18. Hayden Triggs, 19. George Naoupu, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Blair Stewart, 22. Aaron Bancroft.



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