Highlanders round out Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa with victory

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Behind closed doors in Level 2, the home side put on a clinic for their co-captain’s Aaron Smith and Ash Dixon who brought up special milestones. Smith played his 150th for the Highlanders, while Dixon played his 100th Super Rugby match.

 

The final game of the thrilling competition was again an entertaining one, with the scores locked up 14-14 at the break.

 

It was the visitors who kicked things off with a try-of-the-year contender in just the fourth minute, Vince Aso finishing a brilliant 75 metre effort from the Hurricanes. But just four minutes later, the Highlanders struck back through Ngatungane Punivai who was on the field as a brief injury replacement for Jona Nareki.

 

 

Hurricanes halfback Jamie Booth had an outstanding first half and bagged a try with 10 minutes to go in the first stanza. Dixon bagged a meat pie of his own before the break to tie things up.

 

The Highlanders made every post a winner in the second half, taking every opportunity. Michael Collins and Mitch Hunt scored, while they were also awarded a penalty try, with Ardie Savea sinbinned for getting underneath the ball from an offside position.

 

It was a frustrating afternoon for the Hurricanes who had three tries disallowed in the contest. They scored a consolation try in the 72nd minute through Peter Umaga-Jensen, but the Highlanders lead was too big as they went onto record their third win of the season.

 

Scorers: Highlanders 38 (Ngatungane Punivai, Ash Dixon, Michael Collins, penalty try (7 points), Mitch Hunt tries; Josh Ioane 4 conversions, 1 penalty) Hurricanes 21 (Vince Aso, Jamie Booth, Peter Umaga-Jensen tries; Jordie Barrett 3 cons)

 

HT: 14-14