Highlanders step up a Gear
Winger scores twice to help see off Blues
Last Updated: 26/05/12 11:38am
Hosea Gear pressed his claims for a recall to the New Zealand Test side with two tries for the Otago Highlanders in a 27-20 win over Auckland Blues.
The winger, who was omitted from the All Blacks latest 35-man squad, dotted down either side of the interval as the Highlanders kept their play-off hopes alive with a four-try bonus point victory.
Tamati Ellison set the Highlanders on the way in the 25th minute when he chased down his own clearing kick and Gear crossed for his first 10 minutes later to finish a break by Kurt Baker.
Otago had a third try 20 seconds after the restart when the Blues were caught cold by Ben Smith and the winger sprinted 50 metres down the left flank before offloading to Gear.
And Auckland gifted the visitors a fourth try on the hour when James Parsons overcooked his line-out throw and Adam Johnson picked it off to give the Highlanders a 27-6 lead on the hour.
The Blues were handed a lifeline a minute later when Phil Burleigh was sin-binned and they made the most of their numerical advantage with tries from Tevita Mailau and Tony Woodcock but it was too little, too late.