Highlanders hold off gritty Lions

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iol spt may10 Highlanders-Lions Getty Images The Highlanders very nearly threw away a 23-point half-time lead against the Lions in their Super Rugby encounter. Photo by Rob Jefferies/Getty Images

Replacement back Elton Jantjies missed a conversion kick in the final seconds to hand the Highlanders a tense 23-22 win in their home Super Rugby match in Dunedin on Saturday.

Jantjies' difficult kick from near the touch-line rebounded off the right post to fall to safety and left the visitors heartbroken after they had clawed back from a 23-0 halftime deficit.

The Highlanders were dominant early, with winger Richard Buckman scoring a brace of tries and replacement Gareth Evans grabbing a third in the first half.

The Lions stormed home with four second-half tries to finish with two bonus points, but Jantjies' tough miss gave the Highlanders their sixth win from 10 games, keeping the New Zealand side in touch with the playoffs race. – Reuters

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