The Reds have registered their first ever Super Rugby victory in Dunedin.
The Reds managed to hold on late in the match, winning 34 – 33 after having a 21 – 16 half time lead.
The Reds kept the Highlanders winless for another weekend of Super Rugby 2013, overwhelming them in the first half by scoring three tries. THe Highlanders kept themselves in the match with a few penalties and a single try from Elliot Dixon.
The second half started in much the same way, the Reds having all the possession and eventually scoring their bonus point fourth try. Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph made a host of changes and it was these replacements that turned the match around for the home team.
The last twenty minutes saw a new patient Highlanders style, which resulted in two tries and suddenly, their first win was within grasp. It wasn’t to be though, as handling errors cost them late in the match, and the Reds held on for what was their first ever win in Dunedin.
The Reds will be delighted that firstly, they got the full five points, and secondly, captain James Horwill lasted a full hour while Will Genia played the entire match without a problem. The Reds depth has been tested so far this season, and with injuries drying up, the team is coming together and showing signs of the Champion team we saw two years ago.
The Highlanders struggled to get over the advantage line all game, lacking potency on attack with players not knowing what the other is going to do. This all resulted in passes going astray or going forward.
The Reds now have a bye and the Highlanders will head to Auckland to face the Blues.
By Richard Ferguson