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Super Rugby | Sydney
08:40 (GMT) | 18-03-2016
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Join us at 17.10 GMT for the SA derby between the Bulls and the Sharks. Stay on Rugby365 for more News, updates and everything rugby
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Penalty towards the Highlanders and they look to drag the last few minutes out. Line-out at the center. Waratahs look for the quick break but the referee calls them back. The ball is finally kicked into touch and the FULL TIME whistle is blown
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Line-out towards the away team. They assume a defensive position inside their own 10 meter area
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Line-out snatched up by the Lucas and they try to force their way through. They move the ball down the field and make it into the 22 but the referee blows for a penalty towards the Highlanders
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The momentum now with the Waratahs. Pushing forward from their own 10 meter line.
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Beale gives his team that vital 2 points
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Penalty for the home team and Beale kicks it into touch. They're looking for the comeback try now. The maul drives the Highlanders back and the TMO decision gives the TRY. Holloway with the hatrick
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Robinson with a break into the 22 line up the field but the ball is cleared. Waratahs now inside the 22 again with an advantage.
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Beale adds the extras
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The ball is booted into the air and chased by Zac Guildford. The pressure sees The Waratahs earn a line-out at the 22. Another TRY this time by Robertson coming after the ruck
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Beale fails the conversation. 1 from 4 now
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Hooper with a strong run down the center field. They move forward from the ruck and the offload comes to Holloway and he gets his second TRY
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The home team clears from inside their own 22. Smith in center field with good steps and the offload comes. Another kick forward from the Highlanders and a penalty towards the Waratahs
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Smith kicks it over the top for the team to chase. But a penalty is awarded to the home team.
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Highlanders get the ball and clear. Beale looking for a gap to squeeze through but the Highlanders showing him none.
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Waratahs moving forward with the maul but the referee blows. Scrum inside the 22. Scrum reset
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Beale kicks it into touch around the 22
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Both teams booting the ball through the air. Penalty awarded to the Waratahs
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Beale adds the extras
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Guildford with some good running and steps see the Waratahs move right into the 22 behind the 5 meter line. They finally fine the space and Holloway sneaks through to score the TRY
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Sopoaga finds the space and secures another three with a drop goal
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A cheeky kick forward almost saw Faddes score another try
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Highlanders clear but the Waratahs move straight into the 10 meter. Carraro makes the break but it's a forward pass.
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Scrum reset
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Beale with another kick into touch at the 22. Another fumbled pass and the Highlanders have a scrum outside their 22
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Sopoaga fails to add the 2 extra points
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Dixon plucks the ball out of the air from a hopeful kick and makes the most of it to score the TRY
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A short clearance sees Tongia make a break to the 22 line. He doesn't have the pace but lays off down field. Scrum at the 22 line of the Waratahs.
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Waratahs now pressing forward but another handling error sees the ball goes into touch. Line-out for the Highlanders
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Beale with quick movements and the break. He kicks it forward but Ainley fumbles the ball outside the 5 meter area. Scrum
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The ball cleared by the Highlanders but the Waratahs make a rush up field straight away. Line-out. Highlanders come away with the ball
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Beale gets the second half underway

Half Time

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Scrum at the 5 meter and Waratahs appear to score a try before the horn but the referee calls for a knock on and blows for HALF TIME
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Maul outside the 5 meter line now and the ball is move to the post side but the ball slips out of Beale's hand as he is tackled
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The Waratahs now at the 22, penalty and they take it quickly but the referee calls them back
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Sopoaga focusing, he fails to secure the points
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Line-out at the 10 meter line for Highlanders and the short kick forward is intercepted. The Waratahs finding it difficult to move forward and the Highlanders make the turnover and make the break down the up side of the field. Dixon makes it look easy with the TRY
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Both teams clearing until Beale kicks in into touch
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Highlanders with the line-out on the 22. The ball is over-thrown. Waratahs looking to play their way out but then decide to clear.
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The Waratahs now up against it as the Highlanders kicks one over the top but the home team comes away with the ball. Highlanders with the turnover and the ruck outside the 5 meter line now
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Sopoaga adds the extras
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A handling error by the Waratahs see Squire make a break into an empty defense to score a TRY
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They're making good ground. Penalty towards the Waratahs; Highlanders player offside. Beale fails to get his team on the score board
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Highlanders now inside their own half looking to play out. The turnover is there and the Waratahs moving forward up the field but running into a wall
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The Highlanders pushing the Waratahs back in the scrum and earn a penalty. Sopoaga now eyeing the post as he looks to add 3. He misses.
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Highlanders clears the ball and it goes into touch. Handling error by the Highlanders sees the home team get a scrum at the 10 meter line
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The Waratahs now in the 10 meter area of the Highlanders struggling to make progress. They manage to make it into the 22 but the away team get awarded a scrum
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Line-out just inside the 20 meter for the Waratahs but the Highlanders come away with the ball. Penalty towards the Highlanders now. Sopoaga converts the kick
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Waratahs win the ball and the ball goes into touch up field. Line-out for the home team. Highlanders with the ball now and the break almost comes from the ruck
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A good clearance by Smith sees the ball kicked into touch in a good area around the 22.
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Sopoaga secures the extras
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Highlanders with a line-out at the 10 meter and the break by Rob Thompson gives the perfect layoff to Tongia to get the first TRY of the game
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Highlanders now with the pressure at the 22. The turnover sees the ball cleared into touch
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The Waratahs now inside the midfield putting good pressure on the away team. Scum in the center of the field. Highlanders come away with the ball
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Penalty missed and the score stays at 0 a peice
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The turnover comes and the Highlanders clear the ball. The Waratahs on the attack again now inside the 10 meter line. penalty against the Highlanders
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Penalty towards the Waratahs and they get a line-out at the 22 line. Both teams spread out. The Waratahs fumble the ball up field and they move it down the field
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The ball cleared from the Waratahs 22 line but the away team brings it back into their 10 meter area
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Waratahs with the ball now lower up the field and clears the ball from the 10 meter line
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The Highlanders start of with a fast pace.
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Nick Briant blows for the game to begin
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The teams now streaming from the tunnel
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Highlanders have 4 players from last weeks team ruled out after acquiring injuries, ranging from concussions to hip and knee problems
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Waratahs have won the last 2 of 6 encounters against the Highlanders. Three of those games being played in Sydney, and the Highlanders having won 2 of those 3 games
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Welcome to Sydney for our Super Rugby coverage of the Waratahs versus the Highlanders
Mc waratahs logo 80x50
Mc highlanders logo 80x50
  • 1 Paddy Ryan
  • 2 Silatolu Latu
  • 3 Angus Taavao-Matau
  • 4 Dean Mumm
  • 5 Will Skelton
  • 6 Dave Dennis
  • 7 Michael Hooper
  • 8 Wycliff Palu
  • 9 Nick Phipps
  • 10 Kurtley Beale
  • 11 Zac Guildford
  • 12 David Horwitz
  • 13 Rob Horne
  • 14 Matt Carraro
  • 15 Israel Folau
  • 16 Hugh Roach
  • 17 Jeremy Tilse
  • 18 Tom Robertson
  • 19 Sam Lousi
  • 20 Jed Holloway
  • 21 Jack Dempsey
  • 22 Matt Lucas
  • 23 Reece Robinson
  • 1 Brendon Edmonds
  • 2 Liam Coltman
  • 3 Siua Halanukonuka
  • 4 Alex Ainley
  • 5 Thomas Franklin
  • 6 Elliot Dixon
  • 7 Shane Christie
  • 8 Liam Squire
  • 9 Aaron Smith
  • 10 Lima Sopoaga
  • 11 Ryan Tongia
  • 12 Rob Thompson
  • 13 Malakai Fekitoa
  • 14 Matt Faddes
  • 15 Ben Smith
  • 16 Ash Dixon
  • 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown
  • 18 Ross Geldenhuys
  • 19 Mark Reddish
  • 20 Gareth Evans
  • 21 Josh Renton
  • 22 Hayden Parker
  • 23 Jason Emery
Mc article adriaan strauss bulls media3 800


Wed, 16 Mar 2016 23:58

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Jan de Koning looks at the Friday matches in Part One of Super Rugby's Round Four.

It is going to be an intriguing Friday - with a trio of absorbing and riveting matches.

On the face of it the weekend's opening match, between the Hurricanes and Western Force, may not be the most appealing encounter.

However, the Hurricanes do not have the best track record in Palmerston North - where they have won just over 50 persent of their matches and have an average match score of 24-all.

It is a statistic the Western Force will take heart from.

It gets better, much better, from then on.

We move across the Tasman Sea to Sydney, where the Waratahs - coming off a loss to the Brumbies and a bye - will have to overcome an ever-improving Highlanders outfit.

The day's action is completed with an all-South African derby, when the Bulls host the Sharks - one of only two unbeaten sides.

We look at the Friday, March 18, matches below!
The The Hurricanes, who finally broke their duck with a win over the Blues, have lost a number of key players.

Not only have they lost star back Nehe Milner-Skudder, but blindside flank Brad Shields, prop Reggie Goodes and hooker Leni Apisai have all been ruled out due to injury.

On the flipside, they were able to bolster their armoury with captain Dane Coles - back in the starting XV after pre-season niggles.

Despite the loss of key personnel, Western Force coach Michael Foley remains wary of last year's losing finalists.

Foley said the clash with the Hurricanes is obviously an important one, with the team wanting to kick the three-week New Zealand tour off with a win.

"Playing the Hurricanes at home is always a tough match, but we look forward to the challenge and are eager to test ourselves against last year's runners-up," the Force coach said.

"The Hurricanes are a dangerous team with threats all over the park, but we will stick to our game style and focus on playing at pace."

Recent results:
2015: Hurricanes won 42-13, Perth
2013: Hurricanes won 22-16, Wellington
2012: Hurricanes won 46-19, Perth
2011: Hurricanes won 34-28, Palmerston North
2010: Hurricanes won 47-22, Wellington
2009: Hurricanes won 28-27, Perth

Prediction: The Hurricanes have won their last seven matches against the Force with the Western Australian team's only win against the Hurricanes coming in a 18-17 nailbiter in Round Six, 2007. The Hurricanes have neither come from behind nor let a lead slip after being ahead at half-time in their last nine Super Rugby fixtures, of those nine they have won five. The last time the Force won three away games on the spin against any opposition in Super Rugby was 2008. Western Force flank Matt Hodgson (51) is the first and only player so far this season to make more than 50 tackles and he's missed on only three further attempts. Beauden Barrett (32) has made more kicks in general play than any other player so far this season. The Hurricanes still look to have too much class for the visitors and despite their poor track record in Palmerston, they should with by at least 12 points.


Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Blade Thomson, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Loni Uhila, 18 Ben May, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Callum Gibbins,  21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Willis Halaholo, 23 Jason Woodward.
Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Solomoni Rasolea, 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Chris Heiberg, 17 Heath Tessmann, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Sitiveni Mafi, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Albert Nikoro.

Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)

The Waratahs, desperate to get their campaign back on track, have a strong reference point - as they look to bounce back from a Week Two loss to the Brumbies.

The Tahs experienced a similar situation back in 2014 - when they suffered an early season loss (23-28) to the Brumbies in Canberra. However they managed to bounce back, going on to win 12 out of 15 matches to claim their maiden Super Rugby title.

This year, they're willing for the same and, with a host of experienced players and new stock, are just as able.

Scrumhalf, Nick Phipps believes it's the perfect time to review the last few games and look at what the team and other teams have been doing well.

"There's been a lot of work out there, a lot of contact as well," Phipps said in an interview on the Waratahs website.

"It's been stuff that we've been needing to hit on the head now so that we're not dying at the end of the season, instead we can compete towards the middle and the end of the season, as opposed to just peaking now and then, while other teams chase us."

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has not had much time to celebrate last week's impressive win over the Lions - as he was forced to make a raft of changes to his team.

Four players who started last week against the Lions - Joe Wheeler (concussion), Dan Pryor (concussion), Luke Whitelock (knee) and Patrick Osborne (hip) - have been ruled out through injury.

It means the defending champions' depth will be sorely tested.

Rookie wing Matt Faddes said the pace and physicality of the game means there is no place to hide.

"Every tackle is a big tackle," he told the Otago Daily Times.

"Every run you've got to put the hammer down. And you have to execute the skills at speed. There are no dud players here."

Recent results:
2015: Highlanders won 35-17, Sydney (semifinal)
2015: Highlanders won 26-19, Dunedin
2014: Waratahs won 44-16, Sydney
2012: Highlanders won 18-17, Dunedin
2011: Waratahs won 33-7, Sydney
2010: Highlanders won 26-10, Invercargill

Prediction: The Highlanders have won four of their last six matches against the Waratahs, though the Waratahs have won three of the most recent four matches between these sides when played in Australia. The Waratahs have won seven of their last nine matches against New Zealand opponents in Super Rugby, though both their losses in that span have been against the Highlanders. The Highlanders have won only three of their last 17 matches in Australia, though two of those wins came in their two most recent such fixtures, one against the Waratahs in the 2015 semifinals. Ben Smith (five) has had the most try involvements of any player so far this season with three tries and two try assists. The Waratahs have conceded only one try from opposition possession beginning from a line-out, the equal fewest of any team in the competition. The Waratahs are coming off a bye and the Highlanders are still feeling the effects of last week's bruising encounter with the Lions. The Waratahs will get the upperhand in the final quarter, but the margin should be in single digits.


Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 David Dennis, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Paddy Ryan.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Jack Dempsey, 22 Matt Lucas, 23 Reece Robinson.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Ryan Tongia, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Shane Christie (co-captain), 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Jason Emery.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

The Sharks, the only unbeaten South African team after three rounds, made a mockery of the pre-season predictions.

Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold said his team is determined to maintain their momentum ahead of another big all-South African derby.

“We spoke in pre-season about how important it was for us to get a good start, otherwise we could have had a repeat of last season," Gold said.

"Besides a good start, a couple of those wins have come away from home as well.

"But it's not going to get any easier, we have a short turnaround this week, [with a game] against the Bulls at Loftus on Friday."

The Bulls are coming off a bye - following their opening round loss to the Stormers and a less than satisfactory win over the Rebels.

"To have a bye this early in the competition has pros and cons, but we decided to look at it in a positive way," Bulls coach Nollis Marais said.

"It gave us time to work on the aspects of our game that was shown up by the Stormers and Rebels and it gave the likes of Jesse [Kriel] a chance to get match-fit again.

"The Sharks will arrive at Loftus with a lot of momentum and confidence, but we need to put a stop to that if we want to be successful," Marais added.

Bulls captain Adriaan Strauss made it clear that his side is keen to get back to the field.

"The tournament has already showed why it is such a great event," Strauss said.

"There has been some great games so far and we can't wait to become part of the action again this weekend.

"This will be another typical South African derby with no mercy being given or asked.

"The Sharks have been great so far and will provide us with a massive test.

"But we would not want it any other way and to front that challenge in front of our home support will certainly spur us on."

Recent results:
2015: Bulls won 17-10, Durban
2015: Bulls won 43-35, Pretoria
2014: Bulls won 23-19, Pretoria
2014: Sharks won 31-16, Durban
2013: Bulls won 20-19, Pretoria
2013: Bulls won 18-16, Durban

Prediction: The Bulls have won nine of their last 12 matches against the Sharks, including each of their last three, but at no point in that span have they beaten them by more than nine points. After snapping a six game losing streak with a win in Round Two the Bulls will be looking to secure back-to-back wins in Super Rugby for the first time since Round Ten last season, which was their last encounter with the Sharks. The Sharks have tied together six wins on the trot and a seventh win would see the streak extend to their longest in Super Rugby since they won eight in a row across the 2006 and 2007 seasons. The Bulls remain the only team in the competition yet to concede a first half try so far this season though they've conceded four penalty goals in this period. Sharks goal-kicker Joe Pietersen has kicked 14 goals so far this season, the third most of any player and the most of any South African in the competition. The Bulls are lacking something - a magic spark - and the Sharks have looked a solid unit in the first three rounds. We feel the Sharks will win by more than a converted try.


Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Nic de Jager, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Jesse Kriel.

Sharks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Garth April, 23 Odwa Ndungane.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article aaron smith highlanders pulled 800

Highlanders survive Waratahs comeback

Fri, 18 Mar 2016 10:31

REPORT: The Highlanders hung on for dear life in the second half to claim a 30-26 victory over the Waratahs, as the home side came back from 0-30 down to almost sneak the win.

The Highlanders powered to a 30-0 lead after 55 minutes but they had to withstand a withering fightback from the home side, who pulled to within four points with seven minutes left.

But the visitors regrouped and held onto their lead to go to the top of the New Zealand conference midway through the fourth round of the tournament, while the 2014 champions fell to their second loss in three matches.

The Highlanders, who eliminated the Waratahs 35-17 in last year's semi-finals, have now beaten the Sydney-based franchised in four of their last five encounters.

Ryan Tongia scored the opening try in the 11th minute and Liam Squire scored off a dropped Waratahs ball 18 minutes later.

Flank Elliot Dixon scored the first of his two tries off a kick from wing Matt Faddes, to have the Highlanders leading 22-0 at half-time with flyhalf Lima Sopoaga contributing two conversions and a penalty.

Dixon scored again off a high kick seven minutes after the resumption and a Sopoaga drop kick pushed the Highlanders out to 30-0 before the Waratahs sprung into action.

The Waratahs rattled on 26 points in 17 minutes to give their fans hope of a stirring come-from-behind victory. Jed Holloway, a half-time replacement, scored a hat-trick of tries with another replacement, Tom Robertson, scoring the fourth try.

Wallaby Kurtley Beale converted three of the tries. But the Highlanders steadied and repulsed the Waratahs' comeback to take home the points.

"It's back to the drawing board," said Waratahs captain Michael Hooper ahead of their next match against the Reds in Brisbane.


For the Waratahs:
Tries: Holloway 3, Robertson
Cons: Beale 3

For the Highlanders:
Tries: Tongia, Squire, Dixon 2
Cons: Sopoaga 2
Pen: Sopoaga
DG: Sopoaga


Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 David Dennis, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Paddy Ryan.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Jack Dempsey, 22 Matt Lucas, 23 Reece Robinson.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Ryan Tongia, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Shane Christie (co-captain), 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Jason Emery.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)

Jed Holloway (56min), Jed Holloway (65min), Tom Robertson (67min), and Jed Holloway (72min)
Ryan Tongia (10min), Liam Squire (28min), Elliot Dixon (36min), and Elliot Dixon (46min)
Kurtley Beale (57min), Kurtley Beale (68min), and Kurtley Beale (73min)
Lima Sopoaga (11min) and Lima Sopoaga (29min)
Lima Sopoaga (17min)
Lima Sopoaga (54min)
VENUE Sydney
REFEREE Nick Briant (New Zealand)