23 Feb 2014

Highlanders make Blues blue

9:06 am on 23 February 2014

The Highlanders started their season with a win over the Blues, 29-21 in Dunedin last night to retain the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy.

After winning only three games in last year's competition, the Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph couldn't have dreamed of a better start to the season.

The All Blacks Ben and Aaron Smith scored tries to give the home side a 24-nil half time lead, before Benji Marshall sparked a fightback from fullback for the Blues after coming on in the final quarter.

Chris Noakes missed an easy penalty after the hooter that would have earned the Blues a bonus point.

HIGHLANDERS 29 (Malakai Fekitoa, Patrick Osborne, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith tries; Lima Sopoaga 3 cons, pen)

BLUES 21 (Francis Saili, Angus Ta'avao, Patrick Tuipulotu tries; Chris Noakes 3 cons)

Elsewhere in Super Rugby, the Cheetahs out played the Bulls 15-9 in Blomfontein, and the Queensland Reds overcame the Brumbies in Canberra, 27-17.