The Otago Highlanders yesterday held on in a tight match of tit-for-tat scoring to beat the Western Force 43-35 and claim its first win of the season in Super Rugby.
The lead bounced between the teams in the first half and at the start of the second, but the Highlanders drew away with three unanswered tries through the middle of the second spell to lead 43-25. The Force then finished strongly with tries in the last two minutes to Sifa Amone and Ollie Callan.
The Highlanders had the hardest start to the season of any team, facing last year’s finalists the Canterbury Crusaders and the Auckland Blues in the first two rounds and semi-finalists the Waikato Chiefs in the third.
Back home at one of their two home grounds, Rugby Park in Invercargill, the Highlanders finally managed to stem the losing streak in the fourth round of the tournament.
The win came on Kids Day and the players were swamped by children seeking autographs when the final whistle blew.
“First win. It’s good to get the ball rolling,” Highlanders captain Billy Harmon said. “We’ve had a tough start. It wasn’t the prettiest win, but it was a win nonetheless.”
The Force took an early lead with two penalties to Bryce Hegarty before the Highlanders replied and took the lead with the first try of the match to winger Jonah Lowe.
The back and forth continued into the second half with a try to Tom Horton for the Force, quickly answered by Sam Gilbert who converted his own try to give the Highlanders a 22-18 lead.
Hegarty scored and converted a try and the Force led 25-22, but replacement George Poolman was pulled for a tipping tackle and the Highlanders took advantage with a try to Sean Withy, which again gave them the lead. Lowe and Renton then scored to make it decisive.
A week after beating the defending champion Crusaders, the Fijian Drua came close to picking up another scalp with a strong finish against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane, Australia.
The Reds led 24-3 midway through the second half, but the Drua rallied strongly with tries to Leone Rotuisolia and Kalaveti Ravouvou. A late penalty and defensive play by Filipo Daugunu allowed the Reds to hang on.
BASEBALL LEGEND: Sadaharu Oh, who flew against his doctor’s advice to throw the first pitch at the Taipei Dome, said he had high expectations for baseball in Taiwan Taiwan yesterday defeated South Korea 4-0 in the opening game of the Asian Baseball Championship in front of a crowd of more than 16,000 at the newly opened Taipei Dome. The team was led by a starting pitcher Hsu Ruo-hsi, who in a dominant performance recroded 10 strikeouts and allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings on the mound. Eighteen-year-old Sun I-lei came to close out the final two innings, ensuring that Taiwan hung on to their four-run lead, after scoring three runs in the third inning and another in the fourth. The eight-day championship is to take place
NIGHT OF FIRSTS: In the first official game at the Tapei Dome on Sunday, not only did Taiwan notch a win over South Korea, they also recorded the stadium’s first hit and RBI The Philippines yesterday dominated Thailand 14-4 at the Taipei Dome in the opening game of Group B on the second day of the Asian Baseball Championship, while Palestine pipped Hong Kong 3-1 in Taichung in Group A. World No. 35 the Philippines put themselves on the board early, racking up two runs in the first inning, followed by two in the third, one each in the fourth and fifth, and three in the sixth. Thailand, ranked 43rd in the world, did not get on the board until the top of the seventh inning, when they tried to stage a comeback, putting up
League of Legends (LoL) e-sports clubs in Taiwan are next year to face tougher competition to secure spots in top international tournaments as Riot Games, the game’s developer, is attempting to bolster the weakening e-sports ecosystem in much of Southeast Asia. In a statement on Monday, Riot announced a new upgrade to the Pacific Championship Series (PCS) — a professional league comprising League of Legends clubs in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Southeast Asian countries except Vietnam — to create a more competitive and sustainable ecosystem. It plans to add the top three League of Legends Japan League (LJL) contenders to the
German forward Franz Wagner’s 31-point performance on Wednesday sparked the Orlando Magic to an eighth consecutive victory, ripping the Washington Wizards 139-120 to move one game behind overall NBA leaders the Boston Celtics. The Magic connected on 60.7 percent of their shots in improving to 13-5 and matching the Milwaukee Bucks for second in the Eastern Conference behind the Celtics (14-4). “We believe we can win every day and we want to play up to our standards,” Wagner said after achieving back-to-back 30-point games for the first time in his NBA career. “It’s a lot of fun. We would like to keep