Highlanders End Super Rugby Aotearoa In Style Against The Hurricanes

The Highlanders have finished their campaign with their best display of the competition! The match was in the balance with scores all tied up at half time but in the second half it was all the Highlanders - they scored two tries and a penalty try to the Hurricanes' one after the break. The outstanding inaugural Super Rugby Aotearoa season comes to an end with the Highlanders recording a comprehensive 38-21 victory over the Hurricanes.

An action-packed first quarter that was played at a furious pace. The Hurricanes wasted no time to score the first try of the game with the Highlanders replying almost immediately. If the opening quarter of this clash were any indication, we were set for a free-wheeling, high-scoring and very entertaining 80 minutes of running rugby. The first quarter ended with the two side level at 7-7.

The second quarter was also fast-paced with the Highlanders having two tries disallowed early in the second quarter. With ten minutes to go the Hurricanes scored their second try to lead 14-07. However, the Highlanders again struck back almost immediately to level the scores at 14-14.

Aa frantic opening 40 minutes at Forsyth Barr Stadium that ended level at 14-14. Both sides declared their intent early to play open and running rugby. The Hurricanes went ahead twice but on both occasions, the Highlanders were able to hit back almost immediately. An epic second half awaited all.

The Highlanders came out firing and scored ten points within the first six minutes of the second half. A third try by the Hurricanes was disallowed with ten minutes to go in the third quarter. The Hurricanes' ill-discipline is not only costing them valuable points on the scoreboard but also gives the Highlanders a lot of opportunities to score. With twenty-five minutes to go in the game, a penalty try was awarded to the Highlanders who opened up a commanding lead of 31-14.

The Highlanders continued their dominance helped on by the halfhearted defence of the Hurricanes. The Highlanders' scored their fifth try to seal the game with twenty minutes to go. The fourth quarter has become a touch scrappy with the result well beyond doubt. A consolation try by the Hurricanes was scored with seven minutes to go in the game, to take the score to 38-21 with the Highlanders deservedly the winners.

Hurricanes: Tries: Vince Aso, Jamie Booth, Peter Umaga-Jensen. Conversions: Jordie Barrett (3).
Highlanders: Tries: Ngatungane Punivai, Ash Dixon, Mitch Hunt, Penalty try, Ayden Johnstone. Conversions: Josh Ioane (3), Mitch Hunt. Penalty: Josh Ioane.

Highlanders: 1. Ayden Johnstone, 2. Ash Dixon (cc), 3. Siate Tokolahi, 4. Pari Pari Parkinson, 5. Jack Whetton, 6. Shannon Frizell, 7. Dillon Hunt, 8. Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 9. Aaron Smith (cc), 10. Josh Ioane, 11. Jona Nareki, 12. Patelesio Tomkinson, 13. Michael Collins, 14. Josh McKay, 15. Mitch Hunt. Replacements: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18. Jeff Thwaites, 19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20. Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 21. Folau Fakatava, 22. Ngatungane Punivai, 23. Tom Florence.

The Hurricanes: 1. Ben May, 2. Dane Coles (c), 3. Tyrel Lomax, 4. James Blackwell, 5. Scott Scrafton, 6. Reed Prinsep, 7. Du’Plessis Kirifi, 8. Ardie Savea, 9. Jamie Booth, 10. Jackson Garden-Bachop, 11. Wes Goosen, 12. Peter Umaga-Jensen, 13. Billy Proctor, 14. Vince Aso, 15. Jordie Barrett. Replacements: 16. Ricky Riccitelli, 17. Tevita Mafileo, 18. Pouri Rakete-Stones, 19. Liam Mitchell, 20. Devan Flanders, 21. Jonathan Taumateine, 22. Salesi Rayasi, 23. Chase Tiatia.