Round 12 - Highlanders v Sharks, 1 May, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
- May 8, 2015
The Highlanders started well with Gareth Evans going over for a try early on after a patient build up from the forwards. After pinning the Sharks down in their own half for an extended period of time Lima Sopoaga knocked over a penalty, with 20 minutes remaining in the half the Sharks replied with a penalty of their own and try to which was followed up with a try to Mtawarira. With less than 10 miniutes to go in the first the scores were level 10-all. The Highlanders then scored two brilliantly constructed tries to the Fijian Flyers, Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne with Sopoaga continuing with his magic boot and 100% kicking to go into the sheds with a 24-10 lead over the Sharks.
The half started with the South Africans on the charge, but the home side defense held strong against the Sharks forwards dominated attack phases. Mark Reddish brought up the Highlanders' bonus point try by diving on a loose ball from a lineout close on the Sharks line and soon after the Highlander's were back on the counter attack, Aaron Smith crossed over the line for another 5-pointer. The Highlander's weren't finished there and picked up a 6th try to Brendon Edmonds following a series of brilliant offloads and running rugby by a mixture of forwards and backs. The Sharks picked up a late consolation with Springbok hooker, Bismark Du Plessis, going over the line off the back of a driving maul only for Elliot Dixon to put an exclamation mark on the victory with a try of his own, burrowing over with help from two of his fellow forwards. A massive effort on attack and defense from the home side for the whole 80 minutes. Our forward pack more than matched their much vaunted opposition and our backs proved too hot to handle.
HALF TIME: HIG 24 - SHA 10
FULL TIME: HIG 48 - SHA 15
Tries - G.Evans, W.Naholo, P. Osborne, M.Reddish, A.Smith, B. Edmonds, E.Dixon
Pen - L.Sopoaga
Con - L.Sopoaga 5
Tries - T.Mtawarira, B.du Plessis
Pen - F.Zeilinga
Con - F.Zeilinga