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Dublin: 6°C Tuesday 1 December 2020

You live by the offload... Highlanders recover in style after horrific early try giveaway

The champs hit back with four tries in an impressive 32 – 20 win.

REIGNING CHAMPS HIGHLANDERS found themselves battling an early 14-point deficit in this morning’s Super Rugby meeting with the Western Force in Dunedin.

Source: SANZAAR/YouTube

The early concession was the Otago host’s own doing. Patrick Osborne attempted to offload out of contact on his own goal-line and fired the ball at the shins of Ben Smith, but even the brilliant All Black wasn’t able to gather and Dane Haylett-Petty collected an easy score.

Patrick Osborne runs in a try Source: Photosport/Joe Allison/INPHO

Osborne more than made up for his error though. He crossed for a 17th minute score to halve the gap, finished the game off with an assist for Jason Emery, but perhaps most importantly, he sparked a terrific counter-attack try with a break from deep and a textbook offload to wing Matt Faddes. Dan Pryor completed the sweeping 27th minute move thanks to Aaron Smith.

The scrum-half was instrumental in swinging the game the Highlanders’ way after the break, dummying, breaking and grubbering ahead before Faddes touched down.

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Sean Farrell

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