It was always going to be an epic battle here at Forsyth Barr Stadium and neither team disappointed. The gravity off this match obviously was not lost on the players as uncharacteristic handling errors were committed by both sides in the early stages. After 15 minutes of play Lima Sopoaga opened the scoring with a penalty after working himself into a scoring position following an intercepted loose pass from Ma'a Nonu. It then took until the 35th minute mark for the next points to be scored with Beauden Barrett slotting a penalty for the visitors to bring the scores level. The score stayed at 3-all for the reminder of the half with both teams looking dangerous. 

The Highlanders came out of the sheds and attacked the Hurricanes line whose defense stood up to the mountain of pressure that the Highlanders threw at them. On the 10 minute mark the Hurricanes scored the first try of the game after Goodes went over following multiple pick and go's while close to the Highlanders try line. Barrett pushed the Hurricane's lead out further with a penalty on the 60 minute mark. Lima Sopoaga replied with a penalty of his own shortly after to narrow the deficit. The Hurricanes then soaked up another massive attacking effort from the Highalnders and eventually managed to get the turnover and turned that possession into points with TJ Perenara scoring from a counter-attacking play.  

The Highlanders swung back on attack and with time almost up on the clock, Savea sin binned due to multiple team infringements while defending, Sopoaga scored to set up a heart stopping final few minutes. The Highlanders went close to leveling the scores after the 80minute mark with replacement back Jason Emery crossing the line to score but on review a forward pass was picked up and the try was disallowed. Nail biting end to a tough game. 


FULL TIME: HIG 13 - HUR 20  

Tries - L.Sopoaga
Pen - L.Sopoaga 2
Con - L.Sopoaga

Tries - R,.Goodes, TJ Perenara
Pen - B.Barrett 2
Con - B.Barrett 2
Cards -J.Savea (yellow 77th min)

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