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    Highlanders edge Blues in Dunedin thriller

    2017-04-08 11:20

    Garrin Lambley - Sport24 Editor

    Cape Town - The Highlanders have edged the Blues in a thrilling - and bruising - all-New Zealand Vodacom Super Rugby encounter under the roof at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

    As it happened: Highlanders v Blues

    The Highlanders won 26-20 after trailling 20-13 at half-time.

    The Highlanders scored two tries through All Blacks stars, fullback Ben Smith and centre Malakai Fekitoa.

    Flyhalf Marty Banks added both conversions and four penalties for a personal haul of 16 points.

    The Blues replied with two tries of their own through prop Charlie Faumuina and lock Gerard Cowley-Tuioti.

    Pivot Piers Francis was also on target with both conversions as well as two penalties.

    The Highlanders picked up four points for their victory and moved off the bottom of the New Zealand Conference, swapping places with the Blues who left Dunedin with a single point for losing by seven or fewer points.

    In next weekend's Round 8 action, the Highlanders have a bye, while the Blues welcome the Hurricanes to Auckland (Saturday, April 15 at 09:35 SA time).

    Teams:

    Highlanders

    15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Tevita Li, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1  Daniel Lienert-Brown

    Substitutes: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes

    Blues

    15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 George Moala, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu

    Substitutes: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Sonny Bill Williams

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