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Super Rugby: Gareth Anscombe lands 14 points as the Chiefs edge out the Highlanders
The boot of Gareth Anscombe proved to be the difference as the Chiefs battled to a 19-7 win over the Highlanders.
Anscombe slotted over four penalties and converted Tim Nanai-Williams' try as the Chiefs survived a first-half onslaught to win.
The Highlanders had dominated possession and territory in the opening period as they opted to attack their hosts at every opportunity.
The Chiefs had defended superbly but they were given a helping hand as the visitors were left to rue a number of near-misses
Jason Emery knocked on close to the line, Jarrad Hoeata was somehow stopped short and Hosea Gear was held up. On top of that Colin Slade missed two shots at goal.
The Chiefs had led 10-0 early on but it had flattered the defending champions. Anscombe slotted over a penalty and Nanai-Williams profited after Josh Bekhuis had coughed up possession.
The Highlanders, who looked to run penalties at every opportunity, were finally on the board when Aaron Smith spotted a gap on the blindside of a scrum to score.
Slade converted but try as they might, the Highlanders just couldn't add to their tally.
And through the boot of Anscombe, who has been a revelation at full-back since his switch from the Blues, the Chiefs were able to edge clear.
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|Friday 13th February|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Reds|
|17:10||Lions vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th February|
|06:35||Blues vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Sharks vs Cheetahs|
|17:05||Bulls vs Stormers|
|Sunday 15th February|
|06:05||Waratahs vs Western Force|
|Friday 20th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Brumbies|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs|
|17:10||Bulls vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 21st February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Reds vs Western Force|
|15:05||Stormers vs Blues|
|17:10||Sharks vs Lions|
|Friday 27th February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Reds|
|11:00||Western Force vs Hurricanes|
|17:10||Cheetahs vs Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies|
|15:05||Bulls vs Sharks|
|17:10||Lions vs Stormers|
|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com