ad link


9     15


Super Rugby | Canberra
08:00 (GMT) | 22-07-2016
  • 81
Thank you for joining us at for this match. Please join us tomorrow at 9am when we are back for the second quarter final between the Hurricanes and the Sharks!
  • 80
We are well into full time and the Brumbies are throwing everything into it, but the ball goes into touch and the defending champions keep their hopes alive for another week! What a thrilling match!!
  • 79
Another penalty for the Brumbies and the opt for the 5m scrum again Will there be a twist in this tense match!?
  • 77
A few scrum resets have been called forand the Brumbies finally have the ball back! They are on the attack!
  • 75
No Try! No clear grounding but they go back for a penalty. They decide to take the scrum 5 meters from the Highlanders line!!
  • 74
Nigel Ah Wong might have scored and referee is going up to check!!
  • 73
Highlanders lose the ball in the Brumbies half and Cubelli kicks ahead. Sopoaga fields it, but the ball fails to emerge and the Brumbies have an attacking scrum in the Highlanders 22!!
  • 71
Brumbies have possession inside the Highlanders half but concede the penalty for holding on as time starts to run out for the home team.
  • 69
Highlanders get a scrum after the Brumbies didn't use the ball off the Maul as referee instructed. they win the scrum and are on the attack inside the Brumbies half.
  • 67
Highlanders look to attack from their own half and Lima Sopoaga kicks it out on the full.
  • 65
7 meter lineout to the Highlanders after a great break from Naholo from inside his own half as he kicked ahead and Ah Wong had to make a desperate kick into touch.
  • 64
Referee is checking for potential Foul Play by the Highlanders, but finds no problem with the hit and the Highlanders have a Scrum in their own half.
  • 63
Offside penalty to the Brumbies as the Highlanders were offside and they kick for touch and this time its overthrown but they manage to get the ball back and are attacking inside the Highlanders half.
  • 61
Brumbies have a 5m lineout and the highlanders steal it again!! They kick for relief and finds touch inside the Brumbies half.
  • 60
Penalty for playing the ball on the ground by the Highlanders and they decide to go for the corner!
  • 58
Conversion is missed by Lima. Highlanders win another ball against the throw at the lineout and Ben Smith kicks long and Brumbies kick it back
  • 56
Try to Liam Squire after an intercept by Sopoaga who got it away to Faddes who made good meters. they put it through the hands and Squire goes over!
  • 55
Penalty for offside against Scott Fardy and Lima Sopoaga hits the post!
  • 53
Side entry by Scott Sio and the Highlanders get a relieving penalty in their own half! They find touch just inside the Brumbies half.
  • 51
Referee blows for off-side by the Highlanders and Christian Lealiifano steps up again to narrow the gap and he does just that!
  • 49
Brumbies win a lineout in their own half and set the maul. they win a penalty for a side entry by the Highlanders. They find touch inside the Highlanders half amd set another Maul!
  • 47
Matt Toomua is back on
  • 47
Lima Sopoaga stepping up to extend the Highlanders lead, the ball fell of the tee and he will have to do this quickly and it is away off the uprights
  • 45
Scrum to the Highlanders after Nigel Ah Wong knocks on, on halfway. Few resets have been called, but they finally win the scrum and are on the attack in the Brumbies half and it is a penalty to the Highlanders as the Brumbies fail to roll away.
  • 42
Early penalty to the Brumbies as they won the ball back off the restart and Christian Lealiifano will step up to narrow the scoreboard and its off the post!
  • 41
Christian Lealiifano gets the second half under way!

Half Time

  • 40
Highlanders lose the Ball forward off an attack and that will be half time. Catch you back soon for the second half of this thrilling encounter!
  • 38
Conversion is good by Lima!
  • 37
Yellow card to Matt Toomua after referee lost patience
  • 37
Try to Waisake Naholo! after a great build up and good hands the big winger goes into the corner!
  • 35
Brumbies scrum continue to dominate and they win another scrum penalty to get out of trouble. they find touch just outside their 22, but the Highlanders steal it again at the lineout!
  • 33
Brumbies have a lineout just outside their 22 and it is stolen by Luke Whitelock! The Highlanders look to attack! A knock on by the Highlanders off a cross kick gives the Brumbies a 5m scrum from their goal line.
  • 30
Highlanders get a penalty and kicks for touch on the Brumbies 22 and start to attack, but a poor pass into touch is a let off for the Brumbies
  • 28
Smith kicks and finds touch off a mark called and the Brumbies have a lineout in their own half.
  • 26
Highlanders looked to attack, but lost the ball forward and played it in an offside position and the Brumbies kick for touch just inside their half.
  • 24
Stern words to Steven moore by the referee due to the brumbies discipline in the red zone. they will have to be careful here. Highlanders kick for the corner and the Brumbies drive them back!
  • 23
Some messy play from both sides after the Brumbies lost the lineout and the Highlanders now have an attacking lineout on the Brumbies 22.
  • 21
Penalty to the Brumbies for sealing off the ball at the breakdown and Lealiifano finds touch just inside the Highlanders 22.
  • 19
Great attack from the highlanders in the Brumbies half, but Scott Fardy goes over the Ball and win a relieving penalty for the Brumbies! The have a lineout on their 10m line and win and set the maul!
  • 17
Penalty for offside against the Highlanders in front of the posts and Christian Lealiifano and he kicks it over and the Brumbies take the lead!
  • 15
Brumbies win the scrum and kicks into Highlanders territory. Osborne fields it and gives it to smith who kicks it out just outside his own 22.
  • 13
Highlanders have a line-out just outside the Brumbies 10m line and it is not straight and the Brumbies will have a scrum in their own half.
  • 11
Christian Lealiifano makes no mistake this time and it is locked up at 3 all in Canberra!
  • 10
Lima Sopoaga kicks it directly into touch and the Brumbies get a scrum in the Highlanders 22 and they get another penalty almost straight in front of the posts!
  • 8
Christian Lealiifano steps up for the Brumbies and pulls it away to the left. 22 drop out to the Highlanders
  • 6
Highlanders knocked it on off the restart and Brumbies have a scrum in their half. A reset is called and now the Brumbies win a scrum penalty!
  • 4
Another penalty to the Highlanders and referee warns Stephen Moore for a series of infringements. Sopoaga kicks it over and the Highlanders lead 3-0
  • 3
Great run from Matt Faddes get the Highlanders 5 meters from the brumbies line and they win a penalty. they take it quickly and continue to attack!
  • 1
Angus Gardner blows his whistle and Lima Sopoaga gets us underway!
  • -1
Welcome to GIO Stadium in Canberra as we set to watch the first quarter final between the Brumbies and the Highlanders. it is a cold and wet evening in the nation's capital, will this have an effect on the game plan of both sides?
  • -5
The pressure in big play-off games are always on the halfback combinations of each side. Aaron Smith who is considered to be the best number 9 in the world will have to back that statement up by providing good service to Lima Sopoaga to get the backline running as will it be the case for Argentine scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli and Christian Lealiifano
  • -10
The Highlanders will look to kick accurately and cleverly onto the Brumbies back 3 in order to apply pressure. Ben Smith will have a big task in contesting for the high balls.
  • -15
The Brumbies have David Pocock back for this knockout game, who will be looking to slow the Highlanders ball down and prevent them to have quick ball to attack which they thrive on.
  • -20
The Highlanders will look to go back to back in winning the competition, and they did it the hard way in 2015 when they had to travel in order to win the title, they will hope to do it again in 2016!
  • -25
The Brumbies had a great start to the season by putting over 50 points on the table topping Hurricanes in their first match of the season, however they have been inconsistent during the course of the season but will look to dominate up front and win the collisions and set pieces against the Highlanders
  • -30
Welcome to the live coverage of the first of 4 quarter finals of Super Rugby 2016 as we look ahead to the Brumbies taking on the Highlanders!
Mc brumbies logo 80x50
Mc highlanders logo 80x50
  • 1 Scott Sio
  • 2 Stephen Moore
  • 3 Ruan Smith
  • 4 Blake Enever
  • 5 Sam Carter
  • 6 Scott Fardy
  • 7 David Pocock
  • 8 Jarrad Butler
  • 9 Tomas Cubelli
  • 10 Christian Lealiifano
  • 11 Robbie Coleman
  • 12 Matt Toomua
  • 13 Tevita Kuridrani
  • 14 Nigel Ah Wong
  • 15 Aidan Toua
  • 16 Josh Mann-Rae
  • 17 Allan Alaalatoa
  • 18 Les Makin
  • 19 Thomas Staniforth
  • 20 Michael Wells
  • 21 Joe Powell
  • 22 Andrew Smith
  • 23 James Dargaville
  • 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
  • 2 Ash Dixon
  • 3 Josh Hohneck
  • 4 Thomas Franklin
  • 5 Luke Whitelock
  • 6 Elliot Dixon
  • 7 Shane Christie
  • 8 Liam Squire
  • 9 Aaron Smith
  • 10 Lima Sopoaga
  • 11 Patrick Osborne
  • 12 Malakai Fekitoa
  • 13 Matt Faddes
  • 14 Waisake Naholo
  • 15 Ben Smith
  • 16 Liam Coltman
  • 17 Aki Seiulu
  • 18 Siua Halanukonuka
  • 19 Mark Reddish
  • 20 Dan Pryor
  • 21 Te Aihe Toma
  • 22 Fletcher Smith
  • 23 Rob Thompson
Mc article tomas cubelli brumbies2 800

Preview: Brumbies v Highlanders

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 22:04

SUPER RUGBY QUARTERFINALS: The bookmakers have made the Highlanders favourites, but there may be a couple of factors they did not take into account.

First there is the David Pocock factor and then there is the weather, which could be a real leveller.

There is a likelihood of wet weather, something the Highlanders don't have to worry about when playing at their indoor stadium at home.

But Pocock is probably the a bigger threat.

Brumbies assistant coach Dan McKellar readily admits Pocock's return from injury is "huge" for the home team.

"It is just the confidence he gives the players around him," McKellar said, adding that his value on defence, with his ability at the breakdown, adds tremendous value.

"They way he is able to create turnovers regularly is what makes him so valuable."

The last time the Brumbies and Highlanders met was in April in Invercargill and the Highlanders did a number on the Australian franchise.

"The Highlanders probably worded up the referee before the game, which was smart on their behalf," the Brumbies' assistant coach said.

He added there are things they will raise with the referee if they feel they need to be raised.

However, of bigger concern is the Brumbies' lack of tries in the last few weeks.

"A lot of our players came off the back of a tough Test series [with the Wallabies] against England and it took us a while to get back into rhythm with our attack.

The likelihood of the wet weather is something the Highlanders have planned for and will bank on their underrated pack to do the job for them if things get tight.

"If they can get us enough quality ball you know what quality weapons we have got out in our backline and all I have to do is just feed them and let them do their job," All Black and Highlanders flyhalf Lima Sopoaga told

"This is what we play rugby for, it's the big occasion and looking back on last year and how special it was hopefully we can look to do something similar but, as always, it's one week at a time and you never know when you time is up so this week is all Brumbies and that's it."

Players to watch:

For the Brumbies: Tevita Kuridrani is the power in the midfield, but playmakers Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano hold the key to how the backline will fire. Argentina scrumhalf Tomás Cubelli is another key player in the Brumbies set-up. No doubt David Pocock will have a huge role to play.

For the Highlanders: You can start with the Smiths, Ben Smith and Aaron. However, with Waisake Naholo, Matt Faddes, Malakai Fekitoa, Patrick Osborne and Lima Sopoaga the Highlanders have strike power across their entire backline. Luke Whitelock at lock is a selection many pundits have queried.

Head to head: The breakdown battle will be just as big as the set-piece battle - David Pocock and Scott Fardy (Brumbies) against Shane Christie and Elliot Dixon (Highlanders). Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies) against Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders) at flyhalf is also worth getting an entry ticket. Then you must wonder how Robbie Coleman (Brumbies) will contain Waisake Naholo (Highlanders) ... will it be with a little help of his friends?
Prediction: The Brumbies have won seven of their last nine games against the Highlanders, though they scored only 10 points against them in an away loss to the New Zealand side in round 10 this season. The Highlanders will be searching for back-to-back wins against the Brumbies for the first time since 2006 after snatching a low-scoring victory in their last encounter. The Brumbies have won their last four games at home, outscoring opponents by a combined 156-45, though they've won just one of their last four home games against New Zealand opponents. The Brumbies have averaged 17 minutes and 28 seconds in possession per game this season, the second most of any team and the most of any team that has made it through to the post season. Lima Sopoaga has kicked 27 penalty goals so far this season, the equal most of any player, on his way to 177 points, only seven behind league-leader Beauden Barrett (184). It will be close - five points or less - but the Highlanders will advance to the semifinals.





Mc article brumbies v highlanders match 800

Highlanders tackle Brumbies into submission

Fri, 22 Jul 2016 07:57

MATCH REPORT: The Highlanders held on in the face of sustained second-half pressure to advance to the Super Rugby semifinals.

The defending champion Highlanders won 15-9 against a determined Brumbies team, which held the lead for most of the first half.

However, two tries - in the 36th and 57th minutes - swung the match the Highlanders way.

The Highlanders certainly did it the hard way, but it could all have been for nothing in a dramatic last five minutes - when a turnover in the Brumbies 22-metre area was moved down field by Argentine scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli.

The Brumbies set scrum after scrum in a bid to assert their dominance in the Highlanders 22-metre area to secure a last-minute win.

Try as they might, the Brumbies could not crack the Highlanders defence - despite laying siege to their line for almost the entire final 10 minutes.

It was the defence, so typical of the Highlanders all season, that won them the match.

There were some hair-raising moments, none more than when replacement wing Lausii Taliauli looked to have got over the line.

However, the TMO was unable to see if the ball had been grounded over the line, and it did appear that Taliauli had been grounded with the ball under his chest just short of the line.

In dreadful first half conditions the Highlanders, playing with the wind, managed to go to the break leading 10-6.

The Highlanders looked to set their attacking trend from the start of the game.

Employing a reverse move from a ruck, scrumhalf Aaron Smith went to the right, then threw back to Dixon on the openside and the Highlanders slipped straight onto attack, stretching the Brumbies early. While unable to score a try, they gained three quick penalties from the home side, opting for the penalty goal off the last in the fourth minute.

Brumbies flyhalf Christian Leali'ifano after missing his first penalty goal attempt levelled the scores three minutes later in the 10th minute. He added a second in the 17th.

The Highlanders spent much of the second quarter controlling ball, and looking to probe. They benefited from referee Andrew Gardiner warning the Brumbies they had conceded too many penalties in their own 22 metre area, while also helping themselves to four Brumbies line-outs - the last of which in the 36th minute resulted in several runs at the line.

Finally the ball was controlled well enough for wing Waisake Naholo to cross for the try, while also seeing Brumbies inside centre Matt Toomua sin-binned for being off-side in front of the posts in the movement which resulted in the try.

Hopes that they could strengthen their lead after the break seemed lost when flyhalf Lima Sopoaga missed with two penalty attempts at goal - hitting the posts.

However, But from the second when it seemed the Brumbies were likely to pressure the Highlanders' line with a lucky breakout, Sopoaga pulled off a superb intercept as the Brumbies ran the ball from a line-out.

He fed centre Matt Faddes and he raced towards the goalline. He was tackled from behind and while grounded just short the Highlanders support arrived and the ball was moved quickly for No.8 Liam Squire to score.

Soon after the Brumbies had a midfield penalty and kicked to the corner to attempt to launch a line-out drive. But an outstanding leap by Dixon denied yet another Brumbies line-out win and the Highlanders cleared.

It was a deserved win for the Highlanders and while not their most emphatic win it was enough to account for a Brumbies side that lacked attacking finesse and which was too often ill disciplined at vital stages of the game.

Their line-out woes were a big contributing factor in the Highlanders' success.

The Highlanders' win continued a dominant Super Rugby season for New Zealand teams over their Australian opposition, winning 22 of their 26 encounters.

"We dug in over the last 15 minutes and showed good character," Highlanders co-captain Shane Christie said.

"It was always going to be difficult coming over here but we're stoked and we're in the semi-finals now and we look forward to the week ahead."

It was a despondent Brumbies camp, bowing out of the play-off race and saying goodbye to three of their star Wallabies - skipper Stephen Moore, Matt Toomua and David Pocock, who will all be heading elsewhere next season.

"It's difficult not to comment on some of those refereeing decisions," Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said.

"For mine Lausii scored a try near the end and we had a dominant scrum all night and the ball has come out sideways in the final minutes and I cannot see how there is no penalty for that.

"It's really devastating because it's tough conditions tonight and we were behind on the scoreboard but we found a way back into the game and we did everything right to win it."

Man of the match: It was clear the Highlanders were not getting as much quick ball as they normally do and it may have had a lot to do with David Pocock. Blake Enever produced a mountain of work on defence and Sam Carter carried strongly. Argentinean scrumhalf Thomas Cubelli was the rock and perfect link between forwards and backs, while he produce some of the most crucial; pays for the Brumbies - including a vital turnover. You can always bank on the Highlanders' Smiths, Aaron and Ben, to produce special efforts. Ash Dixon was a workhorse and Liam Squire also put in a mountain of work. Then there was Elliot Dixon, who apart from his general play, stole a couple of crucial line-outs. However, our award goes to Luke Whitelock - who showed that the decision to move him to lock was indeed a masterstroke. The Highlanders second row forward was great in the set pieces, solid on defence and great work ethic in general play.

Moment of the match: There were a couple of key moments. Firs was the simultaneous yellow card to Matt Toomua and the try scored by Waisake Naholo in the 38th minute - the try giving the Highlanders a lead they never conceded. Then there was the TMO call in the 75th minutes, when James Dargaville went over, but the TMO said he could not see a grounding - despite spending several minutes looking at several angles. It was a good call, but a vital moment that could have won it for the Brumbies.

Villain of the match: Nobody really. Physical game, brutal at times and a couple of sharp shoulders that went unpunished. But nothing obviously nasty.

The scorers:

For the Brumbies:
Lealiifano 3

For the Highlanders:
Naholo, Squire
Con: Sopoaga
Pen: Sopoaga

Yellow card: Matt Toomua (Brumbies, 37 0 repeated infringements, killing the ball)


Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Nigel Ah Wong, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Christian Lealiifano (co-captain), 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Blake Enever, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Stephen Moore (co-captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Leslie Leulua'iali'i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Michael Wells, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Lausii Taliauli.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Shane Christie (co-captain), 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Luke Whitelock, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacement: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Te Aihe Toma, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Rob Thompson.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Ben O´Keeffe (New Zealand), Nic Berry (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

* Stats courtesy of SANZAAR & Opta Sport

Waisake Naholo (37min) and Liam Squire (56min)
Lima Sopoaga (37min)
Christian Lealiifano (11min), Christian Lealiifano (17min), and Christian Lealiifano (51min)
Lima Sopoaga (4min)
Matt Toomua (37min)
VENUE Canberra
REFEREE Angus Gardner (Australia)