Highlanders edge out Bulls with 10-17 victory

Waisake Naholo's red card did not prove costly for Highlanders
Waisake Naholo's red card did not prove costly for Highlanders

Bulls 10-17 Highlanders, Loftus Versfeld

Malakai Fekitoa scored the decisive try for Highlanders in the 75th minute as they managed to edge out Bulls by 10-17 in their Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Fly-half kicked the proceedings for Bulls with a fourth minute penalty but that remained the only points for the hosts in the first half.

In response, Matt Faddes crossed over for Highlanders in the 17th minute while replacement fly-half Fletcher Smith, who came into action in the 15th minute contributed with a conversion and a penalty as the visitors gained a seven point lead at half time.

Fullback Warrick Gelant helped Bulls fightback with his touchdown in the 46th minute and the scores were level at 10-10 after the conversion from Schoeman.

Highlanders suffered a major setback when they were reduced to 14 men after a red card to Waisake Naholo in the 63rd minute while eight minutes later Bulls had one man short after lock RG Snyman was sent off.

As the game was heading for a tight finish, Fekitoa scored a crucial try in the 75th minute to put Highlanders five points clear while a conversion from Marty Banks secured a thrilling seven point victory.

Highlanders are positioned fourth in New Zealand Conference despite securing their eighth win from 11 games while Bulls are second in Africa 1 Conference.