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Fijians Carded, Bryn Gatland Denies Chiefs In Super Thriller

Gatland, a late replacement on the bench for the injured Josh Ioane, was the coolest man in Dunedin as he nailed the three-pointer that probably broke his father's heart, but also made him quietly proud.
15 Jun 2020 11:36
Fijians Carded, Bryn Gatland Denies Chiefs In Super Thriller
SUPER SUB...Bryn Gatland kicks the winning drop goal for the Highlanders against the Chiefs at Dunedin on June 13,2020.Photo: Stuff

Fijians Jona Nareki and Vilimoni Koroi were yellow carded as their Highlanders side beat Chiefs 28-27 at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday night.

But despite the disadvantages, Highlanders super sub Bryn Gatland stole the show as Super Rugby Aotearoa returned with a fairytale in Dunedin in front of 19,100 rugby-starved fans. Bryn is the son of Chiefs coach Warren Gatland.

Nareki took out Damian McKenzie in the air and after review, correctly sent to the sidelines while debutant Vilimoni Koroi was sin-binned for a tip-tackle.

Jona Nareki.

Jona Nareki.

Bryn landed a stunning drop-goal with a couple of minutes left on the clock to give the Highlanders a famous 28-27 win that looked beyond them in a nail-biting final quarter.

Vilimoni Koroi.

Vilimoni Koroi.

Gatland, a late replacement on the bench for the injured Josh Ioane, was the coolest man in Dunedin as he nailed the three-pointer that probably broke his father’s heart, but also made him quietly proud.

Dinner with parents

Bryn’s prediction was eerily accurate after he foretold the series of events at dinner with his dad earlier in the week.

Gatland only earned himself a spot on the Highlanders bench due to an injury to Josh Ioane. He discovered the news on Thursday but had kept it from his father, until he had dinner with his parents that night.

“It was a bit of a different situation for me really,” laughed Bryn after the match. ”I found out on Thursday and then had dinner last night with him and mum.

“Halfway through dinner he got a text and he looked at me and said: ‘Are you on the bench tomorrow?’“I didn’t want to give the gameplan away!”

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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