Highlanders open pre-season account with win
NATHAN BURDON IN QUEENSTOWN
The Highlanders have gotten their season off to a solid start with a 15-11 pre-season win over the Brumbies in Queenstown tonight.
The Highlanders trailed 8-6 and 11-9 after the first two quarters, but edged ahead courtesy of two Lima Sopoaga penalties in the second half, while the Brumbies scored the only try of the game with lock Sam Carter crashing over in the first quarter.
The game was played in brilliant conditions at the Queenstown Recreation Ground, with about 4500 turning out to watch.
Highlanders hooker Liam Coltman had an impressive game for the home team, making the most of his chance to captain the team.
The Highlanders looked more assured in the second half when the likes of Brad Thorn, TJ Ioane, John Hardie and Lima Sopoaga came on.
Ioane exited the game gingerly late in the piece with a shoulder injury which had been troubling him before kickoff, but there were no other serious injuries from the game for the Highlanders.
The Highlanders head to Motueka on Friday to take on the Crusaders in their second preseason game.
HIGHLANDERS 15 (Hayden Parker 3 pen, Lima Sopoaga 2 pen)
BRUMBIES 11 (Sam Carter try; Lionel Cronje 2 pen).
What winning margin and team are you tipping for the Super Rugby final?