Late surge from Highlanders seals 41-45 win over Cheetahs

Malakai Fekitoa	was part of the winning side
Malakai Fekitoa was part of the winning side

Cheetahs 41-45 Highlanders, Toyota Stadium

Marty Banks contributed with 20 points as Highlanders managed to edge out Cheetahs after amassing three tries in the final five minutes to win the Super Rugby encounter with a 41-45 margin at Toyota Stadium on Friday.

Scrum-half Tian Meyer got Cheetahs off the mark with a sixth minute try while fly-half Fred Zeilinga added a penalty to take them to a 8-0 lead. Highlanders bounced back through their fly-half Marty Banks, who scored a converted try before adding a penalty to take the visitors to a slender two point lead.

A 34th minute sin-bin to Matt Faddes saw Sergeal Petersen capitalising on the advantage with a touchdown in the 34th minute as Cheetahs ended the first half with a 15-10 lead.

Torsten van Jaarsveld (44'), Oupa Mohoje (54'), Meyer (57') and Ox Nche (60') scored further tries for Cheetahs and despite Highlanders replying through tries from Rob Thompson and Waisake Naholo, they trailed by 17 points heading into the final five minutes.

This is when Highlanders gathered momentum through tries from Tevita Li , Matt Faddes while Naholo strolled past the post in the final minute for the second time to complete a thrilling 41-45 win.

Highlanders are positioned fourth in New Zealand Conference while Cheetahs are third in Africa 1 Conference.