The Reds got ahead early with a few tries for a start while the Highlanders responded well at times where they were just seven points behind at half-time, 14-21. Later on, the Reds might have extended their winning share a bit but it’s only via a series of three-point penalty goals & nothing more. But then the Highlanders came back from behind to close in on the Reds & overtook them with the lead for the first before the Reds stole one back via another penalty goal. In the end though, the home side were glad to get away with the late win thanks to the match-winning TRY off No.9 Folau Fakatava. The final score at Forsyth Barr Stadium is Highlanders 33-30 Reds.
Unlucky from the Reds who were so close towards winning this match away from home until the Highlanders stole the lead baton at the last minute over in Dunedin, NZ. Their first half was really good where the Reds scored three converted tries on the board. Although they regained the lead with seven mins left via another three-point penalty goal thanks to these winning penalties & a good defense, but what really hurts them the most is the injuries amongst these key players. Sadly, that really hurt the great work they’ve built from the beginning where it allowed the Highlanders to make up lost time before the Reds couldn’t close them down under pressure as the clock ran out. Their next game is against Fijian Drua in Fiji next Saturday, which is going to be a must-win game if they want to stay within the Top 8.
And Wow!! Just Wow!! The Highlanders are not out of the Finals just yet with only one more regular round to go thanks to a really close win against the Reds on home soil. They showed some fight earlier on through 1-2 tries, while struggling to hold off defensively at times every time the Highlanders saw Queensland touch down with the TRY at their own end. However, they finally found a way to escape the opposition team’s clutches thanks to the a number of key players being hauled off the pitch due to injury. From there, the Highlanders were able to close in also thanks to a few new faces off the bench, before they managed to close out the Reds at the last minute on what has been an unreal finish with the win. Now they got a tough road ahead v the Blues in Auckland next Friday, but the Landers hope other results go their way in order to advance into the Finals for another year.