Artykuł

Highlanders grind down Reds, Chiefs hold off Waratahs

26 maj 2018 14:31

Lima Sopoaga's penalty with two minutes remaining earned the Highlanders a hard-fought 18-15 success at the Reds in Super Rugby on Saturday.

Sitting fourth in a strong New Zealand Conference, the Highlanders are a point behind the Chiefs, who overcame Australian Conference leaders the Waratahs 39-27 earlier in the day.

Sopoaga started and finished the scoring at Suncorp Stadium, slotting an early penalty to give the visitors the lead, which was cancelled out by Jono Lance midway through the half.

Tevita Li claimed the opening try of the game, receiving the ball from the base of the scrum and, with numbers piled to the right, he darted left and outstripped his marker to score in the corner.

Brandon Paenga-Amosa went over for the Reds, who, thanks to Lance's conversion, led 10-8 at the break - an advantage that was extended by Hamish Stewart's score within five minutes of the resumption.

But Liam Squire barged over with just under an hour played and the score was converted by Sopoaga, who kept his cool in the closing moments to hand his side the points.

At Waikato Stadium, the Tahs took a 14-0 lead inside the opening quarter of an hour through Cam Clark and Curtis Rona, but trailed at the half after Brodie Retallick, Nathan Harris and Damian McKenzie crossed the tryline.

Toni Pulu claimed a brace after the interval, either side of Kurtley Beale's score for the Waratahs, who reduced the gap to just two points through Bernard Foley's penalty with around 15 minutes remaining.

McKenzie slotted over from the tee to give the Chiefs a measure of breathing space, before converting his own try once the clock had gone red to secure a bonus point and give the scoreline a perhaps undeservedly flattering look.

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