Lions tour: Highlanders win thrilling contest against British and Irish Lions in Dunedin
The Highlanders have handed the British & Irish Lions their second loss of their tour, prevailing in an exciting 23-22 win at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
The match was a far cry to the kick-fest we saw in Christchurch on Saturday with good under foot conditions conducive to fast, running rugby.
The Lions were hoping to make a statement early on and they played like it, running from side to side and trying to stretch the home side.
However, the faster the game got, the harder the Lions found it with their kicking game and their handling letting them down at times.
The southern men opened the try-scoring through All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo who had a stunning game from start to finish.
Instead of being daunted, the Lions managed to hit back almost straight away through Jonathan Joseph who cantered over after a good offload by CJ Stander.
Both sides went into halftime locked up at 10-10, but the Lions started well in the second half, scoring two tries in 10 minutes through Tommy Seymour and Sam Warburton to take the lead
However it was the home team that came home strong with the Highlanders forward pack doing the job when it counted.
After being on attack, the Highlanders turned over the ball inside the Lions 22 before registering a monster scrum which forced the penalty and enabled Marty Banks to slot it on a tidy angle.
Lions utility back Elliot Daly had an opportunity to win it for the Lions with a near-60 metre kick that fell agonizingly short of the posts. They then had a lineout on the Highlanders 22 after the siren went before knocking it on and handing the Highlanders the win.
The Lions now travel to Rotorua to face the New Zealand Maori on Saturday. The New Zealand Maori defeated the Lions 19-13 the last time they were here in 2005.