WELLINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) - The Otago Highlanders notched six tries in a frenetic opening half to thrash a second-string New South Wales Waratahs side 49-12 in Invercargill on Friday and keep their playoffs hopes alive in Super Rugby.
Needing to score three or more tries than the Waratahs to secure a vital bonus point, the Highlanders stormed to a 42-7 lead at half-time and eased off after the break to conserve themselves for a potential quarter-final next week.
The Highlanders now face a nervous wait to see whether they have done enough to reach the postseason, needing other results to go their way.
They will hope the Waikato Chiefs can claim a regulation win without a bonus point against the Melbourne Rebels later on Friday and for the Lions to emerge with no points from their match against the Bulls on Saturday. (Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)