Match Reports

Blues v Highlanders - 29 March, Eden Park, Auckland


The Highlander's have suffered a defeat at the Eden Park over the weekend where they Blues have won the second match up of the 2014 Investec Super Rugby Season. The Highlanders had a wealth of possession and territory early on but were unable to convert the possession into points. The Blues struck on the 10 minute mark with an opportunist try to George Moala after a Bryn Hall chip kick ricocheted off a Highlander defender and into the hands of the winger. Lima Sopoaga continued his good goal kicking form from the previous week, slotting 3 penalties in a row which saw the Highlanders take the lead. This did not last as the Blues struck back with Steven Luatua burrowing over for a try following a big break up the mid-field from halfback Bryn Hall. The Blues led into the halftime break 17 - 9 over the Highlanders.

The second half saw the Highlander's penalised heavily which put a stop to any momentum they were gathering. Both team's first fives traded early points and the Blues opened the try scoring in the second half with Charles Piutau making a cruciual line break. The Blues lead was further extended through the boot of Simon Hickey with two penalites while the final quarter of the game ended up scoreless with both sides committing errors during crucial periods of play.
Unfortunately a dominant Blues side proved too strong at home for the Highlanders to beat. Rebels up next back in Dunedin on Friday 4th April.

HALF TIME - Blues:17 - Highlanders:9

FULL TIME - Blues:30 - Highlanders:12

Blues: Tries - G.Moala, M.Nonu, C.Piutau, Pen - S.Hickey 3, Con - S.Hickey 3
Highlanders: Pen - L.Sopoaga 4


Highlanders

1 - Kane Hames
2 - Ged Robinson
3 - Chris King
4 - Brad Thorn
5 - Jarrad Hoeata
6 - Elliot Dixon
7 - Shane Christie
8 - Nasi Manu (co-captain)
9 - Aaron Smith
10 - Lima Sopoaga
11 - Patrick Osborne
12 - Phil Burleigh
13 - Malakai Fekitoa
14 - Richard Buckman
15 - Ben Smith (co-captain)

Reserves
16 – Liam Coltman
17 – Craig Millar
18 – Ma’afu Fia
19 - Joe Wheeler
20 - TJ Ioane
21 - Fumiaki Tanaka
22 - Hayden Parker
23 – Shaun Treeby

Head Coach – Jamie Joseph
Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod
Skills Coach – Jon Preston
Manager – Graham Purvis


Blues

1 - Tony Woodcock
2 - Tom McCartney
3 - Charlie Faumuina
4 - Liaki Moli
5 - Hayden Triggs
6 - Jerome Kaino
7 - Luke Braid
8 - Steven Luatua
9 - Bryn Hall
10 - Simon Hickey
11 - George Moala
12 - Ma’a Nonu
13 - Jackson Willison
14 - Frank Halai
15 - Charles Piutau

Reserves
16 - James Parsons
17 - Ofa Tu’ungafasi
18 - Angus Ta’avao
19 - Tom Donnelly
20 - Peter Saili
21 - Sonatane Takulua
22 - Pita Ahki
23 - Benji Marshall

Head Coach - Sir John Kirwan
Assistant Coach - Sir Graham Henry, Grant Doorey and Mick Bryne
Manager - Richard Fry

Highlanders v Hurricanes - 21 March, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

The Highlanders are back in the winners circle after a scintillating game of running rugby.

The first half was a typically tight contest between these two New Zealand sides, both teams not giving an inch on defence forcing a kicking contest for much of the half, with both sides trading penalties.
The Highlanders got on the board through the boot of Lima Sopoaga, while the visitors responded with their own penalty moments later courtesy of Beauden Barrett.
The Highlanders regained the lead thanks to two more Sopoaga penalties before the Hurricanes came back with another Barrett penalty to stay in touch.

Sopoaga kicked another penalty leading into the half time break and the Highlanders went into the break with a comfortable lead of 18 points to 9.


After an early second half penalty to the Hurricanes, the Highlanders started to find gaps in the visitors defence.
Ben Smith sparked an attack up the middle of the field, linking with Aaron Smith before he offloaded the ball to Phil Burleigh who juggled it before running in for the game's first try.

Patrick Osborne added his name to the score sheet when he intercepted the ball while the Hurricanes were hot on attack to turn the run of play around and go in for a try, Sopoaga converted to give the Highlanders a 35-12 lead.
The Hurricanes then fought back and closed the gap with a Ben Franks try, before Beauden Barrett added a try of his own to close the gap up to 35-26 with less than 10 minutes to go.
Players from both teams were out on their feet by this stage.A late try to Barrett gave the Hurricanes a sniff of victory with scores close at 35-31, however they ran out of time as the Highlanders defence held strong to keep the visitors out for the win.

FULL TIME - Highlanders:35 - Hurricanes:31

 

Match Officials

Referee: Nick Briant

Assistant Referee 1: Kane McBride

Assistant Referee 2: Brendon Pickerill

TMO: Chris Wratt


Highlanders

1 - Kane Hames
2 - Liam Coltman
3 - Ma'afu Fia
4 - Brad Thorn
5 - Joe Wheeler
6 - Elliot Dixon
7 - Shane Christie
8 - Nasi Manu (co-captain)
9 - Aaron Smith
10 - Lima Sopoaga
11 - Patrick Osborne
12 - Phil Burleigh
13 - Malakai Fekitoa
14 - Richard Buckman
15 - Ben Smith (co-captain)

Reserves
16 - Ged Robinson
17 - Matias Diaz
18 - Chris King
19 - Jarrad Hoeata
20 - TJ Ioane
21 - Fumiaki Tanaka
22 - Hayden Parker
23 - Shaun Treeby

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Scott McLeod & Tony Brown

Team Manager: Graham Purvis


Hurricanes

1 - Ben Franks
2 - Dane Coles
3 - Jefferey Toomaga-Allen
4 - Mark Reddish
5 - James Broadhurst
6 - Jack LAm
7 - Ardie Savea
8 - Faifili Levave
9 - Chris Cmylie
10 - Beauden Barrett
11 - Julian Savea
12 - Hadleigh Parkes
13 - Conrad Smith (captain)
14 - Alapatu Leiua
15 - Marty Banks

Reserves
16 - Ash Dixon
17 - Chris Eves
18 - John Schwalger
19 - Mark Abbott
20 - Blade Thomson
21 - TJ Perenara
22 - Matt Pro
23 – Andre Taylor

Head Coach: Mark Hammett

Assistant Coach:

Team Manager: Tony Ward

Highlanders v Western Force - 15 March, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

 

The Western Force hoodoo continues as the men from Western Australia came out victors in hard fought battle. The Force kicked off proceedings with the perfect start; scoring a try to Hooker Nathan Charles after 5 minutes following some good build up play. The Highlander’s replied with three penalties to Sopoaga to take the lead after a spell of dominance, the Force returned fire picking up a try against the run of play after first-five Sias Ebersohn intercepted a loose pass. It didn’t take long for the Highlanders to retake the lead with Shaun Treeby latching onto the perfect grubber from Aaron Smith for a 5 pointer. The see-sawing continued as the Force finished the first half strong, scoring a try to big No.8 Ben McCalman.

Ebersohn extended the Force's lead soon after the break with a penalty and that was followed by a charge down try to Force mid-fielder Solomoni Rasolea after an attempted clearance kick. The Highlanders fought back hard and dominated the remaining quarter. Fekitoa crashed over through the heart of the defence to score and Sopoaga converted to get the Highlanders back in the match.

The Force were reduced to 13 men for the last 8 minutes of the match after being yellow carded for a deliberate foul and a tip tackle as the Highlanders looked to score. The Force then defended with their reduced numbers and managed to hold out the Highlanders until the last minute of play when Hayden Parker crossed the line. He was unable to convert from wide for the draw.

The Highlanders play the Hurricanes at home on Friday 21st March.

HALF TIME - Highlanders:16 - Western Force:21

FULL TIME - Highlanders: 29 - Western Force:31

Points scored by:

Highlanders - Shaun Treeby, Malakai Fekitoa, Hayden Parker tries; Lima Sopoaga 1 con, 4 pen

Force - Nathan Charles, Sias Ebersohn, Ben McCalman, Junior Rosolea tries; Ebersohn 4 con, 1 pen

Match Officials

Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1: Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 2: Ben O'Keefe
TMO: Vinny Munro

Teams

Highlanders:

1  - Kane Hames
2  - Liam Coltman 
3  - Chris King
4  - Jarrad Hoeata 
5  - JoeWheeler  
6  - John Hardie
7  - Shane Christie 
8  - Nasi Manu (co-captain) 
9  - Aaron Smith  
10 - Lima Sopoaga 
11 - Kurt Baker  
12 - Shaun Treeby  
13 - Malakai Fekitoa
14 - Richard Buckman  
15 - Ben Smith (co-captain)

Reserves
16 - Ged Robinson
17 - Matias Diaz
18 - Craig Millar
19 - Josh Bekhuis
20 - Elliot Dixon
21 - Fumiaki Tanaka
22 - Hayden Parker
23 - Phil Burleigh

Western Force:

1 - Pek Cowan

2 - Nathan Charles

3 - Kieran Longbottom

4 - Sam Wykes

5 - Wilhelm Steenkamp

6 - Angus Cottrell

7 - Matt Hodgson (c)

8 - Ben McCalman

9 - Alby Mathewson

10 - Sias Ebersohn

11 - Nick Cummins

12 - Kyle Godwin

13 - Junior Rasolea

14 - Luke Morahan

15 - Jayden Hayward

Reserves

16 - Heath Tessmann

17 - Tetera Faulkner

18 - Ollie Hoskins

19 - Adam Coleman

20 - Brynard Stander

21 - Ian Prior

22 - Zack Holmes

Chiefs v Highlanders - 1 March, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

 

The Highlanders have gone down to the defending Super Rugby Champions in a tight game after being unable to hold out a fast finishing Chiefs in the second half.Lima Sopoaga opened the scoring with a penalty after a Chiefs ruck infringement but the home side soon replied with a Nanai-Williams try on the right wing. Sopoaga closed the gap with a penalty and the Highlanders, through a perfectly executed driving maul off the lineout, saw John Hardie crash over to for a try and the lead, which Sopoaga extended further with a late penalty.

Soon after the resumption of play Chiefs co-captain Liam Messam crashed over the line after a period of pick and go play.The Highlanders replied through the reliable boot of Sopoaga after a Chiefs penalty, unfortunately that ended up being the only points of the second half for the Highlanders. The Chiefs took the lead with ten minutes to go after a try to Ngatai and a Cruden conversion from wide.

They Highlanders played well and will take a lot from this match as they head into bye week.

HALF TIME - Chiefs:7 - Highlanders:16
FULL TIME - Chiefs:21 - Highlanders:19

Try Scorers:

Chiefs: Tim Nanai-Williams, Charlie Ngatai, Liam Messam tries; Aaron Cruden 3 con
Highlanders: John Hardie try; Lima Sopoaga con, 4 pen

 

Teams:

Highlanders:

1 - Kane Hames

2 - Liam Coltman

3 - Chris King

4 - Jarrad Hoeata

5 - Joe Wheeler

6 - Gareth Evans

7 - John Hardie

8 - Nasi Manu (co-captain)

9 - Aaron Smith

10 - Lima Sopoaga

11 - Malakai Fekitoa

12 - Shaun Treeby

13 - Winston Stanley

14 - Richard Buckman

15 - Ben Smith (co-captain)

Reserves

16 - Brayden Mitchell

17 - Matias Diaz

18 - Craig Millar

19 - Josh Bekhuis

20 - Shane Christie

21 - Fumiaki Tanaka

22 - Trent Renata

23 - Phil Burleigh

 

Chiefs:

1 - Pauliasi Manu

2 - Mahonri Schwalger

3 - Ben Tameifuna

4 - Michael Fitzgerald

5 - Matt Symons

6 - Nick Crosswell

7 - Tanerau Latimer

8 - Liam Messam

9 - Tawera Kerr-Barlow

10 - Aaron Cruden ©

11 - Asaeli Tikoirotuma

12 - Charlie Ngatai

13 - Robbie Fruean

14 - Tim Nanai-Williams

15 - Mils Muliaina

Reserves

16 - Rhys Marshall

17 - Jamie Mackintosh

18 - Josh Hohneck

19 - Tevita Koloamatangi

20 - Liam Squire

21 - Brad Webber

22 - Andrew Horrell

23 - James Lowe

Highlanders v Blues - Sat 22 Feb, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

The Highlanders emerged victorious over the Blues on Saturday night in front of a huge, noisy crowd at Forsyth Barr Stadium. The team got things off to the perfect start with Aaron Smith charging down a Chris Noakes clearance to score and Malakai Fekitoa dotting down following a huge bust from broken play 50 metres out. Ben Smith put his name on the scoreboard just out from halftime to give the Highlanders a healthy lead heading into the break. The Highlander's defence wasimpressive and they had the bulk of territory and possession in the first half.

The Blues came out fired up in the second half, scoring a try to Francis Saili right after the break to which the Highlanders replied straight away with a classic winger try from Patrick Osborne to bring up the bonus point. After a bit and back and forth the Blues attack kicked into gear and they scored two tries, one to Taavao and one to Tuipoluto, to narrow the deficit to 8 points setting up a very nervous last 10 minutes. The Highlanders defence held strong to bring up our first win in our first game of the season and to retain the hallowed Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy.

The Highlanders now travel to Hamilton to play the Chiefs who won 18-10 over the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday night.

HALF TIME Highlanders:24 - Blues:0

FULL TIME Highlanders:29 - Blues:21


Points scored by:

Highlanders - (Aaron Smith, Malakai Fekitoa, Ben Smith, Patrick Osborne tries; Lima Sopoaga 3 con, pen) 
Blues - (Francis Saili, Angus Ta'avao, Patrick Tuipulotu tries; Chris Noakes 3 con)

Match Officials

Referee: Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Kane McBride
TMO:Vinny Munro

Teams

Highlanders:

1 - Kane Hames 
2 - Liam Coltman 
3 - Chris King 
4 - Brad Thorn 
5 - Jarrad Hoeata 
6 - Gareth Evans 
7 - Shane Christie 
8 - Nasi Manu (co-captain) 
9 - Aaron Smith 
10 - Lima Sopoaga 
11 - Patrick Osborne 
12 - Shaun Treeby 
13 - Malakai Fekitoa
14 - Richard Buckman 
15 - Ben Smith (co-captain)

Reserves
16 - Ged Robinson
17 - Matias Diaz
18 - Craig Millar
19 - Josh Bekhuis
20 - TJ Ioane
21 - Fumiaki Tanaka
22 - Hayden Parker
23 - Phil Burleigh

Blues


1 - Ofa Tu'ungafasi
2 - James Parsons
3 - Charlie Faumuina
4 - Liaki Moli
5 - Tom Donnelly
6 - Steven Luatua
7 - Luke Braid (Captain)
8 - Peter Saili
9 - Piri Weepu
10 - Chris Noakes
11 - George Moala
12 - Francis Saili
13 - Jackson Willison
14 - Frank Halai
15 - Charles Piutau


Reserves
16 - Tom McCartney
17 - Sam Prattley
18 - Angus Ta’avao
19 - Patrick Tuipulotu
20 - Brendon O’Connor
21 - Bryn Hall
22 - Benji Marshall
23 - Tevita Li