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  • Super Rugby
  • Overall Group
  • 11th Apr 2014
  • KO 08:35
  • Ground: Forsyth Barr, Dunedin

Super Rugby: Highlanders recover to beat Bulls in Dunedin

Last updated: 11th April 2014  

MALAKAI FEKITOA HIGHLANDERS

Malakai Fekitoa of the Highlanders on the attack

RUGBY RUGBY UNION LIMA SOPOAGA

Lima Sopoaga: Try and points with the boot for Highlanders

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The Highlanders recovered from a 13-3 deficit to keep their Super Rugby hopes alive with a 27-20 victory over the Bulls in Dunedin.

The win moves the Highlanders into fifth in the overall table, and puts them second in the New Zealand conference having played the same number of games as the Hurricanes and Chiefs.

A try from Bjorn Basson helped the Bulls into an early 13-3 advantage in the first 20 minutes of the match - with the big score coming after a lovely blindside scrum move that saw Piet van Zyl set him up.

At this point it seemed the Bulls were showing the signs of upsetting the Highlanders in what surprisingly was their first fixture against a South African side this season.

However, the Highlanders recovered with an impressive spell that saw Lima Sopoaga go over from a Shaun Treeby pass that was touched in flight by a Bulls player. That converted score on 32 minutes pulled the hosts back to within three before Sopoaga slotted a leveller.

The recovery continued after the restart as the Highlanders turned the screw against a Bulls squad that looked fatigued after a recent test against the Hurricanes, one where they had to put in a lot of work defensively. And they were subsequently punished as the home side.

First it was blindside flanker Gareth Evans with a try down the left wing that saw the Highlanders take the lead for the first time in the game, with outstanding centre Malakai Fekitoa setting him up before he turned from provider to scorer on 54 minutes.

Fekitoa has become the signing of the season so far and that aforementioned finish as he came back on a switch put the Highlanders 27-13 to the good, which was how it stayed until the final seconds when Marcel van der Merwe crossed to hand the Bulls the losing bonus.

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TimeFixture
Super Rugby
Friday 6th March
Super Rugby
06:35Chiefs vs Highlanders
08:40Brumbies vs Western Force
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06:35Blues vs Lions
08:40Reds vs Waratahs
15:05Cheetahs vs Bulls
17:10Stormers vs Sharks
Friday 13th March
06:35Hurricanes vs Blues
11:00Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels
Saturday 14th March
03:30Crusaders vs Lions
06:35Highlanders vs Waratahs
08:40Reds vs Brumbies
13:00Stormers vs Chiefs
15:05Cheetahs vs Sharks
Friday 20th March
06:35Highlanders vs Hurricanes
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Lions
Saturday 21st March
06:35Crusaders vs Cheetahs
15:05Bulls vs Western Force
17:10Sharks vs Chiefs
Sunday 22nd March
05:05Waratahs vs Brumbies
Friday 27th March
06:35Hurricanes vs Melbourne Rebels
09:00Reds vs Lions
Saturday 28th March
05:30Chiefs vs Cheetahs
06:35Highlanders vs Stormers
08:40Waratahs vs Blues
15:05Sharks vs Western Force

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