Coming off of a 29-22 win over the Jaguares in their last fixture the Southern Kings had a shot at back-to-back wins for the first time in the competition.
The game promised to be a bit of a grudge match as the Southern Kings earned a 34-27 victory in the last and only time they faced the Highlanders during Round 13 on 11 May 2013 – this victory earned them their first and only bonus point win.
The visiting Highlanders were hard pressed in a tightly contested match in the first half but were able to end the game with four unanswered tries in the final ten minutes.
The home side had an opportunity to take an early lead, but flyhalf Elgar Watts pushed it wide of the upright.
The Highlanders picked up their first points through flyhalf, Lima Sopoaga, after enjoying most the territory in the opening quarter.
Ten minutes later the visitors penetrated the home side’s defense as fullback Matt Faddes scored their first try, Sopoaga converted to give them a 0 – 10 lead.
Watts kicked a twenty fifth minute penalty to get the home side on the board, trailing 3 – 10.
The Kings did most of the attacking play towards the end of the first half and were rewarded with a try of their own, when left wing, Wandile Mjekevu sliced through the Highlanders’ defense. Watts missed the conversion as the Kings trailed 8 – 10 at the break.
The visitors opened the second half with two more tries, with Faddes crossing the whitewash for a second time, while replacement flank, Dan Pryor. Sopoaga missed both conversions as the Highlanders extended their lead to 8 – 20.
Replacement flyhalf Louis Fouche kicked a fifty seventh minute penalty to edge closer to the Highlanders’ score, 11 – 20.
After an entertaining passage of play, the Kings were rewarded with a try from the captain, Steven Sykes, after interplay between backs and forwards. Fouche added the extras to trail by two, 18 – 20.
The visitors finished the game strong with four unanswered tries including a hat trick from Faddes.
Final score 48 – 18.
- Southern Kings (8) 18 – Tries: Wandile Mjekevu Steven Sykes. Conversion: Louis Fouche (1). Penalties: Elgar Watts (1) Fouche (1)
- Highlanders (10) 48 – Tries: Matt Faddes (3) Dan Pryor Jack Wilson Patrick Osborne Ali Seiuli. Conversions: Liam Sopoaga (4) Fletcher Smith (1). Penalties: Sopoaga (1)
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