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Super Rugby: Highlanders stay in the hunt via the boot of Hayden Parker
The Highlanders moved back into play-off contention after they edged out the Hurricanes 18-16 in Wellington.
The boot of Hayden Parker proved to be the difference between the two sides, with the Highlanders fly-half landing five penalties and a drop goal.
By contrast, Andre Taylor missed a kickable effort with 10 minutes left that could have won it for the hosts.
The Hurricanes did score the only try of the match through TJ Perenara but despite some sustained spells of pressure they were denied.
There was little to choose between the two sides in the first half as Beauden Barrett and Parker swapped penalties.
However, the Hurricanes crossed just before the break when Perenara got one over his All Blacks rival Aaron Smith by knocking the ball out of his grasp at the back of a scrum to score.
Taylor converted but the Highlanders had the final word of the half as Parker slotted over a penalty.
Parker was on target again at the start of the second period, before Taylor restored the home side’s four-point lead from 45m out.
Parker, though, was on fire and a long-range penalty and a 15m drop goal moved the Highlanders in front.
Taylor should have kicked the Hurricanes into the lead but his effort went wide, while Perenara was denied a match-winning try when the TMO ruled Ash Dixon had illegally obstructed the defence.
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|17:10||Lions vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th February|
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|Friday 27th February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Reds|
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|Saturday 28th February|
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Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com