Highlights: Highlanders put on show to close Super Rugby Aotearoa

By Micah Thompson

Highlanders 38
Hurricanes 21

The Highlanders ran out 38-21 winners over the Hurricanes behind closed doors in Dunedin on Saturday to bring down the curtain on a highly entertaining Super Rugby Aotearoa competition.

With the Crusaders having already won the title last week and Auckland's lockdown putting an end to their much-anticipated 'real final' with the Blues at Eden Park this weekend, Saturday's game assumed a special importance as the end of season showpiece for a competition which has won over the hearts of supporters across the country.

Neither team disappointed either, with both the Hurricanes and Highlanders scoring length of the field tries.

The game got off to a rocketing start with a 'Try of the Year' contender to Hurricanes winger Victor Aso who finished off a 75-metre passage of play in which no less than six Hurricanes players handled the ball.

The Highlanders answered with a try of their own to midfield back Ngatungane Punival four minutes later.

The teams went into the break with the score tied at 14-all, but it was in the second half that the Highlanders switched gears and closed out the game, with a penalty try and two other tries including a blistering effort down the sideline to back Mitch Hunt.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the Hurricanes who had three efforts at tries ruled out.  However, they did score a consolation try to back Peter Umaga-Jensen in the closing minutes but the game was well and truly gone by then.

Highlanders 38 (Ngatungane Punivai, Ash Dixon, Michael Collins, penalty try, Mitchell Hunt tries; Josh Ioane 4 cons, pen)
Hurricanes 21 (Vince Aso, Jamie Booth, Peter Umaga-Jensen tries; Jordie Barrett 3 cons)
HT: 14-14