The Highlanders have gone down to the defending Super Rugby Champions in a tight game after being unable to hold out a fast finishing Chiefs in the second half.

Lima Sopoaga opened the scoring with a penalty after a Chiefs ruck infringement but the home side soon replied with a Nanai-Williams try on the right wing. Sopoaga closed the gap with a penalty and the Highlanders, through a perfectly executed driving maul off the lineout, saw John Hardie crash over to for a try and the lead, which Sopoaga extended further with a late penalty.

Soon after the resumption of play Chiefs co-captain Liam Messam crashed over the line after a period of pick and go play. The Highlanders replied through the reliable boot of Sopoaga after a Chiefs penalty, unfortunately that ended up being the only points of the second half for the Highlanders. The Chiefs took the lead with ten minutes to go after a try to Ngatai and a Cruden conversion from wide.

They Highlanders played well and will take a lot from this match as they head into bye week.

HALF TIME - Chiefs:7 - Highlanders:16
FULL TIME - Chiefs:21 - Highlanders:19

Try Scorers:

Chiefs: Tim Nanai-Williams, Charlie Ngatai, Liam Messam tries; Aaron Cruden 3 con
Highlanders: John Hardie try; Lima Sopoaga con, 4 pen

Highlanders

1 - Kane Hames
2 - Liam Coltman
3 - Chris King
4 - Jarrad Hoeata
5 - Joe Wheeler
6 - Gareth Evans
7 - John Hardie
8 - Nasi Manu (co-captain)
9 - Aaron Smith
10 - Lima Sopoaga
11 - Malakai Fekitoa
12 - Shaun Treeby
13 - Winston Stanley
14 - Richard Buckman
15 - Ben Smith (co-captain)

Reserves
16 - Brayden Mitchell
17 - Matias Diaz
18 - Craig Millar
19 - Josh Bekhuis
20 - Shane Christie
21 - Fumiaki Tanaka
22 - Trent Renata
23 - Phil Burleigh

Chiefs

1 - Pauliasi Manu
2 - Mahonri Schwalger
3 - Ben Tameifuna
4 - Michael Fitzgerald
5 - Matt Symons
6 - Nick Crosswell
7 - Tanerau Latimer
8 - Liam Messam
9 - Tawera Kerr-Barlow
10 - Aaron Cruden ©
11 - Asaeli Tikoirotuma
12 - Charlie Ngatai
13 - Robbie Fruean
14 - Tim Nanai-Williams
15 - Mils Muliaina

Reserves
16 - Rhys Marshall
17 - Jamie Mackintosh
18 - Josh Hohneck
19 - Tevita Koloamatangi
20 - Liam Squire
21 - Brad Webber
22 - Andrew Horrell
23 - James Lowe

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