Wynne Gray

Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

First Take: Fekitoa cuts up Fruean

Malakai Fekitoa of the Highlanders crashes into the tackle Bundee Aki of the Chiefs during the round 17 Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Chiefs. Photo / Getty Images.
Malakai Fekitoa of the Highlanders crashes into the tackle Bundee Aki of the Chiefs during the round 17 Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Chiefs. Photo / Getty Images.

Highlanders 29
Chiefs 25

Any promotional billing headlined the irresistible force against the immovable object or Malakai Fekitoa sorting out some Super 15 business against Robbie Fruean.

In the 50 minutes they went head to head in Dunedin it was no contest as Fekitoa showed the dynamic power which proved to be so magnetic for the All Black selectors.

He ran over a flailing Fruean to set up the opening try for Patrick Osborne and continued that impact throughout a bruising contest. If that wasn't enough, Fekitoa beat Fruean on the outside again before the Chiefs centre finally claimed his man around the ankles in their third duel.

The Chiefs changed up some of their defence so Fekitoa cut up Fruean on the inside as the visitors rushed to shut down any width from the hosts' attack.

There was a change of jersey for Fruean after the break but no change in fortune before he was subbed 10 minutes later.

There were plenty of mistakes from both sides as the Super 15 resumed but the endeavour level was red-lining.

Athletic lock Brodie Retallick charged down a clearing kick from national teammate Ben Smith but could not win the race for the touchdown. While the big men were clearing their tonsils both Aarons, Smith and Cruden were working their nimble magic to find some value.

Cruden's grubber kick bounced wickedly to flummox the cover and create a try while Smith sniped, ran and tackled in a busy showing which underscored the Highlanders' creativity.

- APNZ

Stats provided by

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n2 at 29 Aug 2014 17:36:38 Processing Time: 840ms