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Highlanders finish preseason on a high

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Thursday, February 16, 2017    allblacks.com    Getty Images

After losing to the Crusaders in their first preseason hit out and being knocked out of the Brisbane Tens quarterfinals, the victory was a welcome boost for the southern side just a week out from the start of the Investec Super Rugby season. 

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In hot conditions in in Sydney, the Highlanders burst out of the blocks to lead 40-18 early in the second half before the Waratahs charged back into the encounter.

The Highlanders dug deep to tie up the game 47-47 through a Rob Thompson try before first five-eighth Fletcher Smith calmly struck the match-winning penalty from 35 metres out.

Ben Smith was prominent for the Highlanders with two tries out of the teams seven while there are concerns around a shoulder injury to captain Luke Whitelock.

The teams played for the Sir Henry Braddon Cup. Braddon played for Otago in 1883, New Zealand in 1884 and NSW between 1888 and 1892. He is listed as All Black No.2 and in 1920 became the first All Black to be knighted.