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Highlanders end Stormers' Australasia tour with defeat

The Highlanders beat the Stormers 33-15 in Dunedin on Friday morning, condemning the Cape side to their third successive defeat in this year’s Super Rugby competition.

The Stormers lost 33-15 to the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday morning.  Picture: Twitter/@TheStomers

JOHANNESBURG - The Highlanders beat the Stormers 33-15 in Dunedin on Friday morning, condemning the Cape side to their third successive defeat in this year’s Super Rugby competition.

Robbie Fleck’s men will return home licking their wounds after defeats to the Waratahs, Crusaders and the Highlanders on tour.

The Stormers started brightly and came very close to the Highlanders' try line but the hosts turned the ball over and put together a sustained two-minute period of pressure on the Stormers' defence. Eighth man Luke Whitelock eventually scored the opening try for the Highlanders after some enterprising interplay.

The Stormers hit back almost immediately with a very well worked try scored by lock Chris van Zyl. All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo then beat three defenders before giving an inside pass to Aaron Smith who finished under the sticks.

The men from the Cape were not going down without a fight and pressured the Highlanders into a handling error which young flyhalf Damian Willemse picked up and ran 70m for the Stormers' second try.

The two teams were deadlocked at 12-12 just before halftime, but the Highlanders would have the final say in the half when Naholo went over the line. SP Marais added a penalty as the Highlanders went into the break 19-15 to the good.

The Highlanders scored two unanswered tries in the second half and resigned the Stormers to their 10th consecutive loss in New Zealand.