The Highlanders played host to Barnes on Saturday and put on an impressive performance to secure victory having lost to the same team earlier this season.
From the offset of the game, both teams would try and dominate one another in the tackle and the breakdown area, with huge hits being exchanged.
Barnes drew first blood on the scoreboard scoring a try within the opening 10 minutes and adding the extras. 0 – 7.
Shortly after they would go over for another making the game Highlanders 0 – 12 Barnes.
The rest of the first half would see continuous big tackles made but the Highlanders were making the more significant hits with a new sense of hunting as a team.
Barnes couldn't break the Highlanders defence again for the rest of the half.
Huge tackles in open play coming from the likes of Cameron Leigh, Clarke Smith, Elliot Simmons, Mike Doneghan and Sam Nixon added to the physicality shown throughout the team.
Barnes would be on the back foot for most of the first half and eventually the Highlanders would go over the white wash with Alec Coombes scoring their first try of the game and Jason Wycherley adding the extras.
Half time would see the score 7 – 12 to Barnes RFC.
The second half would see the Highlanders adding pressure to Barnes and show their true strength and aggressiveness, as they would not let the pressure to ease.
The Highlanders had more time on the ball and showed their attacking capability with hard lines being run and plays coming from the training park being displayed with good effect.
Barnes wouldn't be allowed out their own territory for some time, eventually giving Elliot Simmons on the wing an opportunity to find Barnes' try line in the far corner and Lee Millar, now on for Wycherley, adding the extras.
Full credit to Barnes they would keep their defence strong and had an attacking opportunity, which was quashed by Lee Millar reading their attack well to intercept and run in a try from 50 metres.
That would set the tone for the rest of the game and the Highlanders showed their determination to see out the game for a deserved 24 – 17 victory over a strong Barnes team in the Shield 1 league.
1. Maurice Nwakor 2. Charlie Currie 3. Cameron Leigh 4. Sam Nixon 5. Clarke Smith 6. Josh Gain
7. Alex Brown 8. Ian Brooks 9. Ben Calder 10. Jason Wycherley 11. Daley Aremu 12. Mike Doneghan 13. Alec Coombes 14. Elliot Simmons 15. Nathan Adu.
Replacements: 16. Dennis Gibson 17. Conrad Burne 18. Ewan Robertson 19. Lee Millar
Coaches: Corné Du Rand and David Box.
Physio: Julie Bieles
Team Manager: James Collins-Clark