First half dominance helps Highlanders edge out Jaguares 32-27

Highlanders registered their fifth victory
Highlanders registered their fifth victory

Highlanders 32-27 Jaguares, Forsyth Barr Stadium

Highlanders came up with a dominating first-half performance as they edged out Jaguares 32-27 in their Super Rugby encounter at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.

Highlanders have now consolidated their third position in the New Zealand Conference with 29 points while Jaguares are at third place in the South African group.

Ramiro Moyano Joya helped Highlanders get a breakthrough when he fed Sebastian Cancelliere, who in turn offloaded to Matias Moroni for the opening try in the 13th minute and Joaquin Diaz Bonilla followed with the conversion.

The response from Highlanders came in the 23rd minute when James Lentjes crossed over and despite penalties in the 28th and 35th minutes from Bonilla, the home side went into the break with a 26-13 scoreline following tries from Matt Faddes (30'), Sio Tomkinson (36') and Liam Coltman (40'). Josh Ioane also managed conversions on all three occasions.

The Argentinan side showed better intent at the start of the second half with Marcos Kremer (43') dotting down but back to back penalties from Josh Ioane meant Highlanders had a 32-20 lead.

Despite a consolation try from Moyano Joya in the 64th minute, Highlanders held their defence tight to complete a thrilling five point win.