Reese Witherspoon kick, Richard Kahui red card

Highlander coaches Tony Brown and Clarke Dermody could only smile after some improbable offensive brilliance from alternate hooker Rice Marshall on Friday night.

As the win against the Force ensured in the second half, the Highlanders unleashed team tactics in front of Dunedin’s excited students under the roof at Forsyth Bar Stadium.

In a well-planned move, Marshall Flanker gave a short throw to Hugh Renton who immediately returned to Hooker who started bolting the left-handed touchline.

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Hooker’s kick sews the coach

Then, as the plot twists, the front-rower forces his left boot to force the defenders to close quickly.

It was an inspired decision, with the crowd – and the coaches – pleasantly trying to bounce back in the grip of Fulau Fakatavar for Marshall’s good-weight kick halfback.

“What about the left foot chip, Rice Marshall, how good is it?” Commenting on Sky Sport, Nana said to Carl.

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“She counts there: ‘I’ve been calling this all day’!”

All Blacks Great Justin Marshall then joins Brown and Dermody to laugh.

“Somehow I don’t think it was meant to be,” Marshall said.

“Not exactly what they practiced on the training ground, a left foot chip from the hooker, coming down from the sideline.”

Callan excellent offload slip

A big push in the hopes of making it to the top-eight finals of the 10th-ranked Force at 61-10.

The Highlanders, meanwhile, have now won three games in a row and solidified their hold on eighth place on the ladder.

Felti Kaitou and Richard Kahui played with only 13 men late in the Outclassed Force competition after handing out yellow and red cards, respectively.

Marshall officials disagreed with both decisions.

“What are you supposed to do as a tackler?” Marshall asked after Kahui’s ugly head-on collision with Mitch Hunt.

“I don’t see it as a foul game. I’m sorry. There’s something called accidental collision in the game.”

Forces 2-9 are now eight points away from the playoffs.

“We’ve been pushing the game from the start,” said Force captain Kyle Godwin.

“We were very poor tonight in terms of physicality, breakdown and communication. We were our own worst enemy there.

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“To the Highlanders’ full credit, it was an impressive display. Go back to the drawing board for us.”

The game ended on a ridiculous note as Highlander Prop Daniel Leinert-Brown attempted to sideline his 100th game for the club.

It was a decent effort but did not hurt the scorers.

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