Highlanders hold off gutsy Hurricanes

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iol spt mar21 Highlanders-Hurricanes Getty Images The Otago Highlanders held off a charging Wellington Hurricanes at the death to claim victory in their Super Rugby clash. Photo by Rob Jefferies/Getty Images

The Otago Highlanders scored two tries in 15 minutes after halftime and held off a charging Wellington Hurricanes at the death to claim a 35-31 Super Rugby victory in Dunedin on Friday.

The first half of the match between two New Zealand teams looking for their second wins of the season was a penalty kicking contest which Highlanders flyhalf Lima Sopoaga won 6-3 over Beauden Barrett to give his side an 18-9 lead at the interval.

Highlanders centre Phil Burleigh crossed nine minutes after the break and when a converted intercept try for winger Patrick Osbourne extended the home team's lead to 35-12 six minutes later, the match looked as good as over.

Barrett had other ideas, though, and after prop Ben Franks had ploughed over for the Hurricanes' first try, the free-scoring fullback scored a brace of touchdowns in the last seven minutes to set up a dramatic finale. – Reuters

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