The Highlanders did the top South African teams a favour when they beat the Jaguares 32-27 in Dunedin on Saturday.
Both teams showed plenty of attacking ambition during the early stages of the contest. The Highlanders scored four tries in the first half to take a 26-13 lead into the break.
The Jaguares – thanks to their experienced bench – bounced back in the second stanza. The Highlanders finished strongly, though, to claim an important win in the context of their campaign.
The result will be well received by the Vodacom Bulls and Sharks. The Jaguares cannot finish the round at the top of the South African conference standings now.
Highlanders – Tries: James Lentjes, Matt Faddes, Sio Tomkinson, Liam Coltman. Conversions: Josh Ioane (3). Penalties: Ioane (2).
Jaguares – Tries: Matías Moroni, Marcos Kremer, Ramiro Moyano. Conversions: Joaquín Díaz Bonilla (3). Penalties: Díaz Bonilla (2).
Highlanders – 15 Matt Faddes, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Patelesio Tomkinson, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Luke Whitelock (6), 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Josh Dickson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone.
Subs: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Daniel Hollinshead, 23 Thomas Umaga-Jensen.
Jaguares – 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Sebastián Cancelliere, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente (c), 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 9 Felipe Ezcurra, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Tomás Lezana, 6 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 5 Lucas Paulos, 4 Marcos Kremer, 3 Enrique Pieretto, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Mayco Vivas.
Subs: 16 Agustín Creevy, 17 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Tomás Lavanini, 20 Pablo Matera, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Matías Orlando.
Photo: Dianne Manson/Getty Images