WATCH: Sam Gilbert stumbles before scoring try in Highlanders win over Fijian Drua
Highlanders full-back Sam Gilbert was made to work hard for a try in his team’s 57-24 victory over the Fijian Drua in their Super Rugby Pacific encounter in Dunedin on Saturday.
As the scoreline suggests, the Highlanders were in fine form as they outscored the Drua by nine tries to four thanks largely to their first half performance as they raced into a 33-12 lead at the interval.
On the half-hour mark, with the score 21-7 in the home side’s favour, the Drua launched an attack close to the halfway line. Gilbert charged down a kick from Kemu Valetini before gathering the loose ball and setting off towards his opponents’ try-line.
He had a clear run-in but Frank Lomani chased him down before putting in a desperate ankle tap which resulted in Gilbert stumbling. He kept his composure, however, and got back up before crossing for his side’s fourth try which he also converted.
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Earlier, Jermaine Ainsley, Ethan de Groot and Martin Bogado also crossed for converted five-pointers before Mitch Hunt also dotted down on the stroke of half-time. Meanwhile, Lomani and Taniela Rakuro scored the Drua’s tries with Valetini slotting one conversion.
The second half started brightly for the Highlanders as Aaron Smith and Jonah Lowe scored tries, with Gilbert succeeding with one conversion, which meant the hosts held a comfortable 45-12 lead by the 53rd minute.
On the hour mark Tevita Ikanivere scored the Drua’s third try which was converted by Lomani and there was plenty of action in the game’s closing stages as Bogado and Cameron Millar scored further tries, with Millar adding one conversion, while Lomani also crossed for another five-pointer for the visitors.
Video credit: Super Rugby Pacific
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