by Sports Benches

It was a low-scoring and close opening 40 over at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin,  with the Hurricanes touched down first while the Highlanders responded well before the Canes got away through a one-point ball game via a successful penalty goal ahead of half-time, 7-8. But the second 40 belongs to the away team who were absolutely on fire through the every end. And the Landers just let it slipped away, even though they collected the consolation TRY. The final score is 14-29.

The Highlanders winning run has came to an end the other day at the hands of the Hurricanes. Most of their first half run wasn’t bad where they responded well to the Canes five-point opener with a converted TRY earlier on + an unlucky next attempt being held up. They’re actually good to get the job done at scrum and maul time but not on open play when the Landers’ attack have been poor, while the defense have been isolated & adding so much ill-discipline along the way. They may enjoy winning easily v teams regularly below their level, but needs to be on their absolute best at the same time v top teams.

And the one team whose winning form goes on right now is the Hurricanes over from Wellington. They were really patient with the ball going forward all along where the rewards paid off, such as opening the scoring account first followed by regaining a small lead off Highlanders ahead of HT & extending their winning margin throughout the 2nd half. It goes to sum up such a great night away from home in Dunedin. I’d say the only thing they need to be aware of against the top teams is some of the ill-discipline & defense where the Landers had the lead for a while at one point for most of the opening 40.

Well, the Highlanders may continue to enjoy the next two easy games against the Western Force & NSW Waratahs away from home in Australia with a bye this week. And the Canes are getting ready to hopefully get past two of the other top SR teams – The Chiefs this Saturday at home & ACT Brumbies away on Friday 28th April in Canberra with a bye in between. Bring on Round 8 of 15 now in this year’s Super Rugby season going into the next four games over on this Friday & Saturday.

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