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Highlanders Lose To Bulls

The Highlanders horror season continued overnight as the Bulls notched up a comfortable 35-18 win at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria. The Highlanders struggled to gain much momentum throughout the match, as the game became largely dominated by penalties. Late tries to the Southerners bought the score closer, although their fate had largely been settled inside the first half.
 
The Bulls hit the board early thanks to a JJ Engelbrecht try inside the opening two minutes, Morne Steyn adding the conversion to put the home side ahead 7-0, before Colin Slade closed the gap up through a penalty, just minutes later.
 
Slade bought the Highlanders within one point with another penalty in the 14th minute, before Steyn responded with three penalties of his own to give the Bulls a handy 16-6 lead, in a passage where both sides struggled to gain much control of the game.
 
The Highlanders looked set to score a try heading into halftime, showing promise on attack while stringing 12 phases of play together, before coughing the ball up in-sight of the posts. Veteran Bulls winger, Akona Ndungane raced away from the resulting play to score a controversial try, as the pass to him appeared to have travelled forward after Engelbrecht lost control of the ball. Both sides had come back to what they thought would be a scrum, however the try was confirmed by the TMO. Steyn added the conversion to give his side a comfortable 23-6 lead at halftime.
 
Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph rang the changes at halftime, bringing on four fresh players in Liam Coltman, Jason Emery, TJ Ioane and Tony Woodcock in an effort to turn the game around, although a try early in the second half to Bulls captain Pierre Spies (celebrating his 100th Super Rugby appearance) virtually shut the visitors out of the match.
 
Poor discipline hurt the Highlanders in the second spell, with winger Tino Nemani and Chris King both receiving yellow cards, leaving the Southerners to battle with fourteen players over a 20 minute period. The Bulls went close to scoring, although ultimately could not make use of the player advantage.
 
Further changes were made by both sides, with Japanese halfback Fumiaki Tanaka injecting himself well into the game, helping himself to a try inside the final 10 minutes to help close the score. Hayden Parker, who had also come on to replace Slade, took over the kicking duties to convert Tanaka’s try.
 
Bulls replacement halfback, Jano Vermaak gave his side a bonus point when he raced away from the back of a maul to score their fourth try of the match, with just three minutes left to play. Tamati Ellison showed his strength when he went over for a consolation try after the fulltime siren, Parker missed the conversion attempt from out wide although it didn’t matter as the Bulls had already sealed the win, 35-18.
 
The Highlanders head to Perth next week (Saturday May 25) to take on the Western Force at nib Stadium, with their hopes now set on pulling themselves up from the bottom of the competition standings. Kickoff is set for 19:40 NZ time.
 
Bulls 35 (JJ Engelbrecht, Akona Ndungane, Pierre Spies, Jano Vermaak tries; Morne Steyn 3 con, 3 pen)
 
Highlanders 18 (Fumiaki Tanaka, Tamati Ellison tries; Colin Slade 2 pen, Hayden Parker con)
HT: 23-6

Highlanders Named To Play Bulls

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Bulls at
Loftus Versfeld on Sunday morning New Zealand time.

Three changes have been made to the starting XV that played the Kings last weekend –
all in the forwards.  Jamie Mackintosh comes into loose-head prop and Tony Woodcock
moves to the reserves.  Jarrad Hoeata moves into lock, replacing Josh Bekhuis who
sustained a shoulder injury last weekend.  Joe Wheeler will start on the blindside and
Mose Tuiali’i will anchor the scrum from number 8. This moves TJ Ioane to the reserves,
joining Elliot Dixon who is also loose-forward cover.

Highlanders v Bulls, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria – Sunday 19 May, 3.05am (NZ Time).
1. Jamie Mackintosh
2. Andrew Hore (captain)
3. Chris King
4. Brad Thorn
5. Jarrad Hoeata
6. Joe Wheeler
7. John Hardie
8. Mose Tuiali’i
9. Aaron Smith
10. Colin Slade
11. Hosea Gear (vice-captain)
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Tamati Ellison
14. Tino Nemani
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Liam Coltman
17. Tony Woodcock
18. Elliot Dixon
19. TJ Ioane
20. Fumiaki Tanaka
21. Hayden Parker
22. Jason Emery

Highlanders Lose To Kings

Final Score Southern Kings 34 (20) Highlanders 27 (17)

Scorers

Southern Kings
Tries - L.Watson 2, C.du Preez, S.Venter
Pen - D.Catrakilis 2
Con - D.Catrakilis 3

Highlanders
Tries - C.Slade, B Thorn, S.Treeby, H.Gear
Pen - C.Slade
Con - C.Slade 2
Cards - (Tamati Ellison 51st min)

Match Officials
Referee: Jason Jaftha
Assistant Ref 1:Sindile Mayende
Assistant Ref 2:Christie du Preez
TMO : Johann Meuwesen

Teams

Southern Kings
George Whitehead, Marcello Sampson, Ronnie Cooke, Andries Strauss, Siyanda Grey, Demetri Catrakilis, Shaun Venter, Schalk Ferreira, Bandise Maku, AN Other, Wimpie van der Walt, Steven Sykes, David Bulbring, Luke Watson (captain), Cornell du Preez.
Replacements: Virgile Lacombe, AN Other, Daniel Adongo, Devin Oosthuizen, Nicolas Vergallo, Shane Gates, SP Marais.

Highlanders
Ben Smith, Tino Nemani, Tamati Ellison, Shaun Treeby, Hosea Gear, Colin Slade, Aaron Smith, TJ Ioane, John Hardie, Jarrad Hoeata, Josh Bekhuis, Brad Thorn, Chris King, Andrew Hore (capt), Tony Woodcock.
Replacements : Liam Coltman, Maafu Fia, Mose Tuialii, Joe Wheeler, Fumiaki Tanaka, Hayden Parker, Jason Emery

Highlanders Beat Sharks

The Highlanders opened the match with a new found determination on attack, although the Sharks matched this with an aggressive defensive effort.
 
JP Pietersen received a yellow card in the sixth minute, for deliberately knocking the ball down when the Highlanders were hot on attack. Aaron Smith opted for a quick tap, that ultimately led to nothing. Colin Slade attempted a penalty goal three minutes later, unluckily hitting the posts.
 
Shaun Treeby opened the scoring for the Highlanders in the tenth minute when he pounced on a cheeky grubber kick, Colin Slade adding the conversion to give the home side a 7-0 lead. The Sharks responded moments later when Meyer Mosman ran in for an easy try between the posts, Patrick Lambie converting to lock the scores up at 7-7.
 
Lambie grabbed the lead for the Sharks in the 28th minute, kicking a penalty after spending a lot of time pressuring the Highlanders defence close to the tryline. Slade had the opportunity to draw the scores back level moments later, although he hit the posts again with his attempt.
 
The Sharks further extended their lead to 15-7, five minutes out from halftime. Lwazi Mvovo finishing off a nice break, outpacing Ben Smith to score a try in the corner. Lambie’s conversion attempt from out wide hit the post.
 
Slade had another penalty shot to pull the home side closer heading into halftime, however he was off target and pushed the ball wide of the posts.
 
The Highlanders hit the board early in the second half when Aaron Smith took a quick-tap penalty, with a great result this time, as he ran in for a try. Slade added the extras to bring them within one point of the visitors. Slade kicked a penalty minutes later to give the Highlanders a 17-15 lead.
 
Another penalty goal by Colin Slade in the 51st minute pushed the Highlanders five points clear of the visiting South Africans, before Colin Slade added a try to his list for the night, finishing off a well worked Highlanders run started by Ben Smith to give the home side a 25-15 lead.
 
Meyer Bosman added a second try to his tally for the night with 20 minutes to play, finishing off a long passage of play where the Sharks spent a lot of time pressuring the Highlanders defence close to the line. Lambie added the conversion to close the gap up to 25-22.
 
The Sharks spent much of the remaining quarter inside the Highlanders 22m, pressuring the home sides line, but ultimately coming out second best. Brad Thorn received a yellow card late it the match which gave the Sharks a one player advantage, although they could not break the determine Highlanders defence.
 
The Highlanders claiming their first victory of the season 25-22, while giving Brad Thorn extra reason to celebrate following his 100th Super Rugby Match.
 
Sharks 22 (Meyer Bosman 2, Lwazi Mvovo Tries; Patrick Lambie 2 Conversions;  Lambie Penalties)
 
Highlanders 25 (Shaun Teeby, Aaron Smith, Colin Slade Tries; Colin Slade 2 Conversions; Colin Slade 2 Penalties)

Highlanders Named To Play Sharks

Brad Thorn will run out onto Forsyth Barr Stadium for his 100th Super Rugby appearance tomorrow night.
He joins fellow Highlander Chris King who also reached this significant milestone in 2013.

Thorn made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders in 2001 and played 92 games for the red & blacks
up until the end of 2011.  Thorn linked with the Highlanders in 2013 and he joins a small and illustrious
group of centurions, with only Anton Oliver (127 games), Jimmy Cowan (108), Tony Brown (108)
and Chris King (102) also to reach the milestone while playing for the southern franchise.

Highlanders' Head Coach Jamie Joseph said of Thorn:  "Brad is a great player who brings a work ethic like no other.  He's a natural leader within our environment, and he has added a massive amount to our leadership group this season".

Highlanders Chief Executive Roger Clark said: “On behalf of the Highlanders franchise, and all those who support Brad, we offer our congratulations on achieving 100 Super Rugby games.  He brings up this milestone in a Highlanders jersey with his family in attendance, which is special for all of us”.
 
Jamie Joseph has made four changes to the starting team that played the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday 20 April.  The Highlanders forward pack remains unchanged from the eight that started against the Crusaders.  In the backs, Colin Slade starts at 10 and Hayden Parker moves back to the reserves. Ma’a Nonu has been ruled out through injury, bringing Shaun Treeby back into the starting XV in his place.  Tamati Ellison makes a long awaited return from a shoulder injury and he will start at centre.  Phil Burleigh will start on the right wing.

Highlanders v Sharks, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 4 May, 7.35pm (NZ Time).
1. Tony Woodcock
2. Andrew Hore (captain)
3. Chris King
4. Brad Thorn
5. Josh Bekhuis
6. Jarrad Hoeata
7. John Hardie
8. TJ Ioane
9. Aaron Smith
10. Colin Slade
11. Hosea Gear (vice-captain)
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Tamati Ellison
14. Phil Burleigh
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Liam Coltman
17. Ma’afu Fia
18. Elliot Dixon
19. Joe Wheeler
20. Fumiaka Tanaka
21. Hayden Parker
22. Jason Emery