A packed Forsyth Barr Stadium were treated to a nail biting game of rugby to open the Highlanders 2016 home season on Saturday night. After a furious and fast-paced opening five minutes of play, it was the Hurricanes that opened the scoring through a Beauden Barrett penalty goal. The Highlanders struck back almost instantly through a try to Malakai Fekitoa with a tackle-bursting run. Lima Sopoaga couldn't convert but managed to slot a penalty goal soon after to and Barrett and Sopoaga continued to trade penalty goals to see the half out and the Highlanders leading 11-6 on the halftime whistle.
 

The second half continued in the same way as the first, a tight tussle between two great teams. Sopoaga opened the scoring back up in the second half with a penalty goal only to have stand-in Hurricanes Captain TJ Perenara cross the for the first try following a series of pick-and-go's close to our line. Barrett pushed the Hurricanes into the lead with a penalty at the 60th minute mark and then in a never before seen series of events lead the Highlanders to be denyed two tries by the TMO one after the other before the Kurow Kid, Hayden Parker, replacement first-five slotted a clutch penalty to edge the Highlanders into a one-point lead which they held onto until the final whistle. 

And the crowd collectively breathed a sigh of releif - what a game! What a crowd, see you all back here next week for Highlanders v Lions. 

HALFTIME: HIG 11 - HUR 6

FULLTIME: HIG 17 - HUR 16
 
 

HIGHLANDERS

Tries – M Fekitoa

Pen – L Sopoaga (3), Parker

 

HURRICANES

Tries – TJ Perenara

Pen – B Barrett (3)

Cons - B Barrett

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