Dagg stars in Highlanders win
Full-back Israel Dagg inspired the Highlanders to a 39-29 victory over the lions in Dunedin contributing 24 points with the boot.
By Ally Fisher
Last Updated: 26/03/10 10:28am
Full-back Israel Dagg inspired the Highlanders to a 39-29 victory over the Lions in Dunedin after contributing 24 points with the boot.
The 21-year-old helped his team come from 17-3 behind to register their second win in the Super 14 - slotting over six out of seven penalties and converting all three of his side's tries.
Despite the Lions outscoring the home side by five tires to three to take a bonus point, they remain winless so far in their campaign.
The visitors had the perfect start scoring three tries in the first 22 minutes - the first from Michael Killian, before skipper Cobus Grobbelaar and then Wigan Pekeur touched down - giving the Lions a 17-6 lead.
On the half-hour lock Hayden Triggs rounded off a swift team try for the Highlanders, sparked by Kendrick Lynn's burst up the left flank to reduce the deficit.
The centre combined well with John Hardie and Jimmy Cowan before Tonderai Chavhanga's pop pass allowed Triggs to power over, with Dagg adding the extras to leave his team just four points adrift of the Lions.
The Johannesburg franchise were then let down by their own discipline - giving away three kickable penalties which Dagg converted to take the Highlanders into a 22-17 half-time lead.
The full-back then knocked over his sixth penalty before having a hand in Lynn's try. Dagg kicked into the oppositions' in-goal area and the 27-year-old beat Chavhanga to the bouncing ball for their second try.
Things then went from bad to worse for Dick Muir's men. Back-row Derick Minnie's try was disallowed after he was adjudged to have illegally played the ball in the ruck.
Soon after, centre Walter Venter was sin-binned and the resulting penalty led to a penalty try for the home side after their driving maul was illegally brought down.
The Lions came back strong with JP Joubert earning his team a bonus point.
And the vistors finished strongly with wing Pekeur going over for his second try in the dying minutes.
The Highlanders travel to the Chiefs next, while the Lions will look to re-group with a bye next weekend.