Highlanders edge out Reds 15-18 in Brisbane

Lima Sopoaga kicked Highlanders to victory
Lima Sopoaga kicked Highlanders to victory

Reds 15-18 Highlanders, Suncorp Stadium

Lima Sopoaga kicked the decisive penalty in the closing stage as Highlanders edged out Queensland Reds 15-18 in their Super Rugby clash at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

The win has helped Highlanders consolidate their seventh position in overall standings as they remain in contention for the play-off while this is the eighth defeat for Reds from 12 games.

After the first 18 minutes went without a point, Sopoaga kicked a penalty goal to begin the proceedings but five minutes later Jono Lance responded with a three-pointer of his own to help Highlanders level the scores.

The visitors soon got into the lead when Tevita Li raced past Izaia Perese to score the opening try in the game in the 27th minute. As the half-time was approaching, Brandon Paenga-Amosa dived past close range that was improved by Lance as Reds headed into the break with a 10-8 lead.

Reds maintained the momentum after the break when Hamish Stewart dotted down riding on an offload from Samu Kerevi in the 45th minute as the scoreline became 15-8. Just as the game was slipping away from Highlanders, Liam Squire scored a vital try from Highlanders and with two minutes left in the game, Izack Rodda's high tackle saw a penalty awarded to the New Zealand side which Sopoaga kicked without a mistake.