The Highlanders came from behind in Dunedin tonight to beat the Blues and win the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy for the first time since 2006. The home team took a two point lead into the break, but fell behind in the second spell when Rene Ranger crossed for the Blues with 17 minutes remaining on the ever accurate stadium clock. Referee Bryce Lawrence threatened to blow the pea out of his whistle as the penalty count mounted and it was great to see replacement full back Kurt Baker touch down for the match-winning try!
Final Score Highlanders 30 (16) Blues 27 (14).
Tries - S. Treeby, K. Baker
Pen - M. Delany 6
Con - M. Delany 2
Tries - H. Parkes, R. Ranger
Pen - G. Anscombe 5
Con - G. Anscombe
Referee: Bryce Lawrence
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: Kane McBride
1. Jamie Mackintosh (c), 2. Andrew Hore, 3. Chris King, 4. Josh Bekhuis, 5. Jarrad Hoeata, 6. Adam Thomson, 7. James Haskell, 8. Nasi Manu, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Mike Delany, 11. Hosea Gear, 12. Shaun Treeby, 13. Phil Burleigh, 14. Kade Poki, 15. Tamati Ellison.
Reserves: 16. Jason Rutledge, 17. Ma’afu Fia, 18. Doug Tietjens, 19. Culum Retallick, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Chris Noakes, 22. Kurt Baker.
1. Tony Woodcock, 2. Tom McCartney, 3. Charlie Faumuina, 4. Ali Williams, 5. Filo Paulo, 6. Chris Lowrey, 7. Luke Braid (c), 8. Peter Saili, 9. Alby Mathewson, 10. Gareth Anscombe, 11. Benson Stanley, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 13. Rene Ranger, 14. George Moala, 15. Hadleigh Parkes.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Dan Braid, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Michael Hobbs, 22 David Raikuna.