Round 5 - Highlanders v Waratahs, 14 Mar, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
- March 14, 2015
Tonight was another thriller under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. The first quarter echoed the previous game with the Highlanders struggling for ball while the Waratahs held the majority of possession and territory and scored early through Nick Phipps after he received the ball from Michael Hooper following a big bust up the middle of the field. The visitors went over for their second on the 20 minute mark on the back of a good set piece play from the lineout, Mathew Carraro the try scorer. With 30 minutes gone the Highlanders found their reply through Tom Franklin burrowing over from close range. With time almost up in the first half, Malakai Fekitoa stripped the ball from Israel Folau and fed it to Waisake Naholo who scorched down the sideline for 60 metres to cross for our second try of the evening. Lima Sopoaga successfully converted to give us the Highlanders the lead going into the break.
The Highlanders came out of the sheds with a clear purpose, scoring two quickfire tries; one to Ben Smith following a rampaging run from Elliot Dixon and the second to Patrick Osborne who was set up following a searing run through the mid-field from previous try scorer Ben Smith. The Highlanders then found themselves having to defend wave after wave of attack from all parts for the last quarter as the the defending Super Rugby Champions looked to get back into the game. The defensive brickwall the Highlanders set held strong for the majority of the final quarter only wavering in the final minute when Waratahs' replacement loose forward, Stephen Hoiles, earnt his team a late consolation try. The conversion was unsuccessful and the Waratahs finished outside of bonus point reach. A gutsy effort all round.
HALF TIME: HIG 14 - WAR 12
FULL TIME: HIG 26 - WAR 19
Tries - T. Franklin, W.Naholo, B.Smith, P.Osborne
Con - L.Sopoaga 3
Tries - N.Phipps, M.Carraro, S.Hoiles
Con - B.Foley 2
Cards - S.Kepu (27th min yellow)