Highlanders tame Brumbies in Southland

Tries from Ben Smith and Lima Sopoaga have helped the Highlanders to a 13 point win over the Brumbies in their Super Rugby match in Invercargill.

RNZI reports the defending champions outscored the visitors from Canberra two tries to one in the 23-10 victory.

Match day in the deep south of New Zealand didn't start well for the Brumbies, who had to take taxis to the ground after their team bus broke down.

But after the Highlanders lost their wing Jack Wilson to the sinbin in the tenth minute, Christian Leali'ifano opened the scoring for the Brumbies with a penalty goal.

A deadlock developed in soggy conditions at Rugby Park Stadium, which only broke seconds before half-time when Lima Sopoaga put the home team in front with try which the fly-half also converted.

The Highlanders captain Ben Smith scored first in the second-half completing a break made by his All Blacks team mate Malakai Fekitoa.

But it was not long before the Brumbies employed their trademark line-out drive to close the gap, sending Joshua Mann-Rea over the chalk at the base of the maul.

Leading 17-10 with twenty minutes to play, the Highlanders goal kicker Sopoaga slotted two penalties to create a 13 point buffer that the Brumbies were unable to foil.