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Highlanders

FULL-TIME
57     14

Stormers

Super Rugby | Dunedin
07:35 (GMT) | 28-04-2017
  • 81
The final score in Dunedin, Highlanders 57 Stormers 14. Thank you so much for joining us. And don't forget to join us tomorrow when we will bring you all the action of Super Rugby Round 10.
  • 81
Patrick Osborne misses the conversion!
  • 80
The Highlanders feed the line and Patrick Osborne keeps it in play and shift it inside the ball is played to the wide and Matt Faddes goes over for the try!
  • 78
Highlanders have a scrum inside their own 22. Kayne Hammington picks it up and sends Malakai Fekitoa on his way the centre is tackled but possession is still with the Highlanders.
  • 76
Stormers have possession inside the Highlanders' 10 metre. After 10 phases the ball is stolen and BEn Smith slots it clear, but just as far as the 10.
  • 75
Du Preez adds the extras!!!
  • 74
The scrum is moving forward and Dewaldt Duvenage picks it up at the back of the scrum and sees the gap, he is over for the Stormers' second try!
  • 73
The Stormers have possession inside the Highlanders' five but again losing ground. However the hosts concede a penalty and its a 5 metre scrum!
  • 72
Marty Banks slots over the extras!
  • 70
Highlanders in the red zone and after some phases Greg Pleasants-Tate grounds it under the posts!!!
  • 68
Highlanders gets his 15th man back and have a line-out, they shift the ball to the inside but loose possession, however not for long as Stormers Du Toit loose the ball and Highlanders have a chance to attack on the Stormers 22.
  • 66
Banks adds the extras!
  • 65
Highlanders win the penalty and Aaron Smith with a quick tap and go, pass it to Dillon Hunt who goes over in the corner!
  • 62
Highlander have a line-out near their own 22. And Aaron Smith spots the gap and opt to run. The scrumhalf get his side in the 22 but his pass to Malakai Fekitoa fails to reach the centre. Stormers forced to take the ball over the line and its a 5 mtre scrum
  • 60
Rob Thompson kick an up and under and Highlanders collects it but its knock-on and Stormers have possession the game have become really loose.
  • 58
Stormers opt for the posts and they win the line-out on the HIghlanders' 22. And they building phases but losing yards but a great break by Carr gets him in the 5 metre and Carr's offload is collected by the Highlanders and they counter attack.
  • 57
Aki Seiuli gets a yellow card after his high tackle on Carr on the halfway mark!
  • 56
Banks adds the extras!
  • 54
But again the Stormers play are predictable and Highlanders steal the ball on the five. Highlanders are on the counter attack and Waisake Naholo grabs the ball and set sail for his try, even Kolbe cant catch that guy!
  • 53
A huge tackle on Malakai Fekitoa hands possession to the Stormers and have a penalty. Stormers opt to kick to touch and have a 5 metre line-out.
  • 52
Stormers win the 5 metre line-out and again they try to break past the five but again its stolen and Malakai Fekitoa counter attack with Aaron Smith in support. Stomers penalised for a high tackle and ref plays the advantage but comes back for the panelty after Highlanders lose the ball.
  • 50
Vermaak feeds the scrum just inside the Highlanders' half. The ball is shifted wide and Malakai Fekitoa is penalised for a high tackle on Leyd on the 22 and they opt to kick to touch.
  • 48
Sarel Marais is tackled to touch and ist a line-out for the Highlanders. Really scrappy from both sides as they fail to keep possession just inside the Highlanders' half.
  • 47
Stormers have possession is on the attack and they win a penalty just outside the Highlanders' 22. Du Preez opt to kick to touch and they have a 5 metre line-out, but its stolen by Highlanders who slots it downfield but just as far as Leyds.
  • 45
Highlanders win a penalty inside their own 5 metre and Highlanders opt to kick to touch. Highlander win the line-out on their own 10, Aaron Smith's kick is charge down by Du Toit but the ball bounce out.
  • 43
Stormers secure the 5 metre line-out and shift it inside. Stormers are on the attack and Pieter-Steph du Toit goes over for a potential try, but after the TMO decisions it is ruled that Du Toit lose it forward and its no try!
  • 42
Dan Kriel with a great beak on the 10 and get his side in the 10 metre. Stormers still have possession and is penalised for holding, but Higlanders fail to keep possession and lose it forwards. Stormers opt for the line-out.
  • 41
Robert Du Preez gets the second half underway! And Waisake Naholo collects it on the 22. However fails to keep possession and the Stormers have possession.

Half Time

  • 40
From the restart, Marais opt to run the ball. And the Stormers are building some phases but after nine phases its a knock-on and that is all the action of the first half. Highlanders take a 31-7 lead at the break!
  • 39
Banks slots over the easy conversion!
  • 37
Stormers win the line-out on their own 10. But fails to keep possession and Highlanders on the attack. Patrick Osborne holds his line and gives it to Rob Thompson who goes over for a try!
  • 36
Stormers win the line-out and have possession inside the Highlanders' 22. But the ball is loose and its a turnover, Banks slots it out!
  • 34
Highlanders win the 5 metre line-out and sets up an attack. The ball is shifted wide and Stormers' defence is in shambles. Finally, they have a penalty and Jano Vermaak picks it up and opt to go alone. The scrumhalf is tackled and they have a penalty and opt to kick to touch.
  • 33
From the restart and the Highlanders win the ball and they just keep the ball with quick hands. A great pass from Ben Smith to Waisake Naholo gets the side in the 22 and they win a penalty and opt for the touchline..
  • 31
Banks taking his time with this kick and he just curls it in from the touchline.
  • 29
Highlanders win the 5 metre line-out and have the rolling maul. They powers their way over and Liam Squire puts his name in the score sheet!
  • 28
From the scrum Aaron Smith feeds the line and shift it inside. The HIghlandrs put on attack and again Patrick Osborne found himself in the Stormers' 22. Stormers concede a penalty and they opt to kick to touch.
  • 26
From the restart the ball goes through the hands and eventually Ben Smith hits it out and the teams exchange some kicks before Stormers' opt to run with it, however the pass is ruled to have gone forward and its a scrum on the halfway mark.
  • 25
Again Highlanders concede a penalty for a high tackle and Stormers opt to kick to posts. From the 22 Robert Du Preez misses the kick and score remains, 17-7 in favour of the hosts.
  • 24
From the restart Patrick Osborne collects it and win a penalty for the Highlanders, however, they concede a penalty and Stormers have the ball inside the Highlanders' 22.
  • 22
Marty Banks misses again!
  • 20
Stormers now on the attack and after nine phases they still have possession but a loose it on the Highlanders' 10. The ball is slot downfield but just as far as Kolbe. Stromers again lose and Rob Thompson pop it to Ben Smith, captain gives it to Patrick Osborne who goes over for his double!!
  • 18
Banks misses the conversion!
  • 17
Aaron Smith created an overlap and pass the ball to Ben Smith, and Ben Smith goes past few defender inside the Stormers' 22, and a pop pass to Waisake Naholo gets the wing over for a the try!
  • 16
Patrick Osborne try to keep the ball inside but Bongi Mbonambi tackle him to touch on the Stormers' 22. Referee halts play and Kebble the guy he is looking to but fortunalty for Kebble the ref determine the player moved into Kebble's line and created the danger. Just a penalty to the Highlanders.
  • 14
Highlanders starting to get their rhythm and have a line-out inside the Stormers' 22. The hosts are just keeping the Stormers' in tehir own half.
  • 12
Banks curls it in to add the extras.
  • 11
From the line-out the Highlanders is on the attack, Banks with a lob pass get the ball out wide and draw in the defenders, and Patrick Osborne goes oover in the corner for the try!
  • 10
Its a line-out just inside the Stormers' half. Abd the ball is secured by the hosts but somehow cant break past that 50 metre mark. Malakai Fekitoa break trough but the ball is spilled on the 10 and slot oout by Du Preez.
  • 9
Robert du Preez adds the extras!
  • 8
Marais with a nice break from and get his side in the the Highlanders' half. The ball is shifted wide and Du Toit keeps the ball up and sends it through the hands and Carr over for the first try of the game.
  • 6
Highlanders look dangerous inside the Stormers' 22 but a knock-on puts a halt to all the proceedings.... Ben Smith struggling with his ankle and it does not look good but some tape around the boot and he is good to go.
  • 5
From the line-out on the 22, Stormers secure the ball and Marais with a huge kick clear the ball, but its out on the full and Highlanders have a chance to attack.
  • 4
Stormers have possession but lose it inside the Highlanders' 22. Gareth Evans slots it out and Waisake Naholo chace but lucky for Stormers Marais and Leyds clear it and kicks it out.
  • 2
The Highlanders forced to kick to touch and its a line-out on the halfway mark. Stormers win the line-out and force the penalty. Aginst their kick to touch and is inside the Highlanders' 10
  • 1
Sarel Marais clears the line and slots it out for the first line-out of the match.. Highlanders win the line-out on their 10 metre and set up an attack, however Stormers slot it clear .
  • 0
Marty Banks gets the game underway!
  • -5
The referee for the match is Glen Jackson (New Zealand). The assistant referees are Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand) and Mike Fraser (New Zealand). The TMO is Aaron Paterson (New Zealand).
  • -10
Meanwhile, the Highlanders coach Tony Brown is aware of the threat the Stormers brings - based on their form before the last two weeks, when they lost to the Lions and Crusaders and realise that Stormers will be desperate to secure a win.
  • -15
The Highlanders won their last encounter with the Stormers 39-21 in Round Seven, 2015, snapping a six-game losing streak against the Cape Town side. And the Stormers' mentor Robbie Fleck are fully aware of the Highlanders' impressive form in recent weeks - victories over the Brumbies, Rebels, Blues and Sunwolves and has labeled his time in New Zealand as a 'tough week'.
  • -20
Siya Kolisi returning after being rested last week and will start at openside flank, with Nizaam Carr shifting to No.8 and Pieter-Steph du Toit continuing on the blindside - whilst Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Kobus van Dyk will provide loose forward cover. Jan de Klerk is getting a chance to partner Etzebeth in the second row, while props Oliver Kebble and Frans Malherbe are starting - with JC Janse van Rensburg and Wilco Louw are on the replacements bench. Scrumhalf Jano Vermaak returns to the starting line-up to partner flyhalf Robert du Preez
  • -25
The Highlanders will be without two key forwards. Star loose forwards Elliot Dixon and Luke Whitelock have both been sidelined with injuries. Meanwhile Siosuia Halanukonuka, Tom Franklin and Gareth Evans return to the starting line-up. Rob Thompson returns to the midfield in place of an injured Richard Buckman and Patrick Osborne will return on the left wing to play his 50th Super rugby game for the Highlanders
  • -30
Welcome to the first Super Rugby fixture of Round 10. The Highlanders host the Stormers in Dunedin.
Mc highlanders logo 80x50
Highlanders
Mc stormers logo 80x50
Stormers
START LINE UP
  • 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
  • 2 Liam Coltman
  • 3 Siosula Halanukonuka
  • 4 Alex Ainley
  • 5 Tom Franklin
  • 6 Gareth Evans
  • 7 Dillon Hunt
  • 8 Liam Squire
  • 9 Aaron Smith
  • 10 Marty Banks
  • 11 Patrick Osborne
  • 12 Rob Thompson
  • 13 Malakai Fekitoa
  • 14 Waisake Naholo
  • 15 Ben Smith
RESERVES
  • 16 Greg Pleasents
  • 17 Aki Seiulu
  • 18 Siate Tokolahi
  • 19 Joe Wheeler
  • 20 Jackson Hemopo
  • 21 Kayne Hammington
  • 22 Fletcher Smith
  • 23 Matt Faddes
START LINE UP
  • 1 Oliver Kebble
  • 2 Bongi Mbonambi
  • 3 Frans Malherbe
  • 4 Eben Etzebeth
  • 5 Jan de Klerk
  • 6 Siya Kolisi
  • 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit
  • 8 Nizaam Carr
  • 9 Jano Vermaak
  • 10 Robert du Preez
  • 11 Dillyn Leyds
  • 12 Dan Kriel
  • 13 EW Viljoen
  • 14 Cheslin Kolbe
  • 15 Sarel Marais
RESERVES
  • 16 Ramone Samuels
  • 17 JC Janse van Rensburg
  • 18 Wilco Louw
  • 19 Kobus van Dyk
  • 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe
  • 21 Dewaldt Duvenage
  • 22 Shaun Treeby
  • 23 Bjorn Basson
Mc article malakai fekitoa highlanders 800

SR Preview: Round 10, Part One

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:57

IN THE SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: As we head into the second half of the season, there is substantially less room for errors (read defeats).

Our weekend starts with two teams who are sitting pretty in the play-off zone, but can't afford too many slip-ups - as it would allow some determined chasers back into the hunt.

The vastly improved Highlanders, on a four-match winning streak, host a Stormers team looking to bounce back from two consecutive defeats.

That is followed by the Chiefs, well settled in the play-off zone, against the basement-dwelling Sunwolves.

Then follows an all-Australian derby between the Reds and Waratahs - both well outside the top 10 and whose play-off hope lies in the fact that the equally dismal Brumbies have lost three of their last four matches.

In Part One of the preview we look at the first three matches of the weekend!

Friday, April 28:

Highlanders v Stormers
(Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - Kick-off: 19.35; 09.35 SA time; 07.35 GMT)

The Stormers are the 'desperate' team in this encounter.

They are still a good 12 points clear of their nearest rival in the Africa One conference, the Bulls, but should they lose this week and next week against the Hurricanes, it will open the back door for a Bulls team that are at home for the rest of the season.

Highlanders coach Tony Brown is aware of the threat the Stormers brings - based on their form before the last two weeks, when they lost to the Lions and Crusaders.

"They are an exciting side who like to play an expansive game," Brown said of the Stormers - a side that he played eight games in, in 2008.

"They will be looking forward to familiar dry conditions and I am sure they will be well up for the game."

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck spoke of a 'tough week', coming off the (24-57) loss to the Crusaders and then only having six days in the build-up.

Fleck said they kept it 'simple', because changing things too much tactically will not help the players.

He was also aware of the Highlanders' impressive form in recent weeks - victories over the Brumbies, Rebels, Blues and Sunwolves.

"They had a bit of an unlucky start to their campaign," Fleck said, adding: "The last few weeks they have really started to turn in on.

"Tactically they are very smart. They kick a lot behind you, put pressure on you and play in your half."

As is always the case, the big talking point for teams playing the Highlanders is their backline, with All Blacks Ben and Aaron Smith they key players.

"On turnover possession they can kill you," the Stormers coach said, adding: "That is what let us down against the Crusaders, we turned over too much ball.

"We can't afford that against the Highlanders, as their back three will skin us alive."

He also spoke of the line speed of the Crusaders on defence and said they have to be much better all round of they want any chance to win.

Recent results:
2015: Highlanders won 39-21, Dunedin
2014: Stormers won 29-28, Cape Town
2012: Stormers won 21-6, Dunedin
2011: Stormers won 18-6, Cape Town
2010: Stormers 33-0, Cape Town

Prediction: The Highlanders won their last encounter with the Stormers 39-21 in Round Seven, 2015, snapping a six-game losing streak against the Cape Town side. The Stormers have never scored more than 24 points in a game against the Highlanders when playing in New Zealand, and average just 19pts per game across that eight-game span. The Highlanders were defeated by one point in their last home game against a team from South Africa, they've not lost consecutive such games since Round Seven, 2012, when they lost to the Stormers. The Highlanders have won their last four games, the last time they won more in succession was a stretch of five wins from March to April last season. The Stormers have lost their last six games in New Zealand, their longest losing streak there, including a 33-point defeat to the Crusaders in the last round which was their second-heaviest loss in New Zealand in the competition's history. The Stormers have demanded their opposition make 125 tackles per game this season, forcing a bigger defensive effort of their opponents than any other team in the competition. The Stormers have scored eight tries when beginning possession with a kick return, the second most of any team in the competition (Crusaders - nine). The Highlanders have been successful with 89 percent of their goal kicks this season, the best accuracy of any team in the competition and 15 percentage points more accurate than the Stormers (74 percent). In fact, Marty Banks boasts a goal kicking accuracy of 96 percent, having missed just one of his 25 attempts; the best accuracy of any player in the competition to have attempted at least 10 kicks. Sarel Marais has been involved in nine tries this season (three tries, six try assists), the fourth most of any player and the most of any player not playing for the Hurricanes. The Stormers can win, but don't put your house on it. The smart money is on a Highlanders win - we think by six points.

Teams:

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Jackson Hemopo, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes.

Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Jan de Klerk, 4 Eben Etzebeth (vice-captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Shaun Treeby (Stormers debut), 23 Bjorn Basson.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

Saturday, April 29:

Chiefs v Sunwolves
(Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - Kick-off: 19.35; 07.35 GMT; 16.35 Japan time)

It is telling of the Sunwolves' status - or the perceived lack of threat they pose - that the Chiefs made a raft of changes for this game.

All told, there are just three players - Damian McKenzie, Aaron Cruden and Dominic Bird - who will wear their same numbers on their jersey as last week.

Frontline players like Michael Leitch, Brodie Retallick, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi and Atu Moli are being rested altogether.

Chiefs coach Dace Rennie certainly raised some eyebrows when he did not even name a scrumhalf among the replacements.

Jonathan Taumateine will start and captain Aaron Cruden will cover the No.9 position.

The Sunwolves are not just last in the Africa One conference, with one win from eight, they also lost 3-50 the Crusaders and 15-40 to the Highlanders in their last two outings.

However, assistant coach Andrew Strawbridge dismissed the notion that they are disrespecting the visitors from Japan.

"You base your season and your planning around when you're going to rest people and not rest people, based on who you're playing, and who you think you can cope with," Strawbridge told the Waikato Times.

"I don't think it matters who [what team] it is.

"We played the Western Force last week and according to the media they weren't supposed to have been too much of a hurdle. We struggled to put them away."

Sunwolves lock Shinya Makabe said playing the New Zealand teams are vastly different from facing up to South African sides.

"We were surprised by the speed of the New Zealand teams," he said about the adjustments they had to make in the first two matches.

"We will keep improving and hopefully we would be able to do the things we intend to in the Chiefs game."

Previous results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: This will be the first game between these teams, though it will be the third and final game of the Sunwolves' first ever tour to New Zealand. The Chiefs have won their last five games on home soil, the last time they went on a longer home winning streak was a run of nine from 2013 to 2014. In fact, the Chiefs have won 20 of their last 23 games at home against teams from outside New Zealand, those wins coming by an average margin of 15 points. The Sunwolves are yet to win away from home, with their 11 losses so far coming by an average margin of 30 points. In fact, the Japanese side have conceded 90 points already in their tour of New Zealand so far from just two games. The Chiefs have stolen 17 line-outs this campaign, the equal most of any team in the competition (level with the Kings). The Sunwolves have lost just 2.9 rucks per game this season, the fewest of any team, and boast a league-high 96 percent ruck success rate. The Chiefs have conceded just one try from possessions beginning in their opposition's half this season, the fewest of any team in the competition and 11 fewer than the Sunwolves. Damian McKenzie is one of just three players to have made over 100 carries this season; in fact, his 121 carries are 20 more than any other player in the competition. Jamie-Jerry Taulagi has provided 17 offloads for the Sunwolves this campaign, the equal most of any player in the competition alongside the Stormers' Sarel Marais. No matter what the Chiefs say, they see this as an easy game and we feel the same - it is just a matter of the margin. The Chiefs to win by at least 30 points.
 
Teams:

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Solomon Alaimalo, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Stephen Donald, 11 Sam McNicol, 10 Aaron Cruden (captain), 9 Jonathan Taumateine, 8 Sam Cane, 7 Mitchell Karpik, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Taleni Seu, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Mitchell Brown, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Alex Nankivell, 22 Shaun Stevenson, 23 James Lowe.

Sunwolves: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Teruya Goto, 13 William Tupou, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 6 Edward Quirk, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Shinya Makabe, 3 Heiichiro Ito, 2 Takeshi Kizu, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Replacements: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Rahboni Vosayaco, 21 Yuki Yatomi, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

Referee: Will Houston (Australia)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Reds v Waratahs
(Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - Kick-off: 19.45; 09.45 GMT)

These two teams are playing for scraps of honour and the faint hope that the Brumbies will keep losing - leaving the back door open to them for a play-off place.

The quality and form of the Australian teams have been well-documented, so when they face each other it is life or death - a chance for some redemption.

It is often also a dour slugfest.

Reds coach Nick Stiles feel that there is plenty to play for, despite the constant criticism of the poor standards in the Australian conference.

"No one needs reminding of the importance of this match for both sides," Stiles said.

"This is the only Queensland versus New South Wales fixture in the 2017 calendar and it has a lot of implications for the Australian conference.

"I know the team, the organisation and our fans are really looking forward to it.

"It's also great to be able to bring a few players back from injury this week.

"Everyone wants a chance to pull the colours on against New South Wales.

"Those guys have worked really hard to ensure they're fit to play and are really excited to take the field on Saturday."

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said the New South Wales versus Queensland rivalry is one that means a lot to the side and the team will be wanting to represent the state proudly when they pull on the sky blue jersey on Saturday.

"For us this weekend it's all about pride in our jersey," Gibson said.

"This is our biggest local derby and we want to represent our State proudly."

In order to win, both sides certainly needs to raise the bar substantially - something Gibson readily acknowledged.

"A big focus for us this weekend is improving our line-outs," the Waratahs coach said, adding: "We have David McDuling and Dean Mumm starting as locks to ensure we have superior line-outs."

Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said he knows what to expect of the encounter on Saturday.

"We are in anticipation for a tough game and a physical, hard battle", said Hooper.

"[We're also] anticipating a really good battle in [the] back row.

"We've got some really young, hungry guys here in Wellsy [Michael Wells] and Ned [Hanigan] that take it up to an older back row."

Recent results:
2016: Waratahs won 15-13, Brisbane
2016: Waratahs won 30-10, Sydney
2015: Waratahs won 31-5, Sydney
2015: Waratahs won 23-5, Brisbane
2014: Waratahs won 34-3, Brisbane

Prediction: The Waratahs have won their last six games against the Reds, conceding an average of just seven points per game in that span. Eight of the last 11 Australian derbies in Super Rugby have been won by the home team, including each of the last two. The Reds come into this fixture looking for consecutive wins for the first time since Round 17, 2014. Both the Reds and Waratahs have kicked just one second-half penalty goal each this season, the equal fewest of any team in the competition alongside the Hurricanes. Scott Higginbotham has snatched five line-out steals so far this season, the equal most of any player and more than any other Australian-based player. Who is the best of a very bad bunch? We think the Reds will get up for this one and edge the Waratahs by five points.

Teams:

Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi (captain), 12 Duncan Paia'aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 James Tuttle, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Lukhan Tui, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sef Fa'agase.       
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Kirwan Sanday, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Leroy Houston, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Campbell Magnay.

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Cam Clark, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Dean Mumm, 4 David McDuling, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Hugh Roach, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Irae Simone, 23 Bryce Hegarty.

Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jordan Way (Australia), Damon Murphy (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports

Mc article rob thompson highlanders v stormers 800

Highlanders run Stormers ragged

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 06:53

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Highlanders ran the Stormers ragged to produce an emphatic 57-14 win in Dunedin on Friday.

The result stretched the Stormers' losing streak in New Zealand to a record eighth defeat - going back to 2013 for their last win.

The Stormers had enough possession and certainly some great opportunities.

However, they were predictable and naive in their tactics - playing too much in their own half and using one-up runners ad nauseam.

In contrast, the Highlanders were astute enough to win the territorial battle and found it easier to turn their opportunities into points, because they did not have to score them from more than 50 metres out.

They were also far more clinical on the counter attack.

The Stormers opened an early 7-0 lead, but soon fell off the pace to slump to their third consecutive loss if the season.

They have conceded 143 points and 21 tries in their last three games - while scoring just 54 points and six tries. That's an average 18-48 loss - a dramatic slump since their much-hyped win over the Chiefs in Round Seven.

They still comfortably lead the Africa One conference, but have lost the momentum they built winning their opening six matches of the season.

In contrast, the Highlanders had a shaky start but have now racked up five straight victories and are showing the attacking potency that won the 2015 title.

The win also maintains New Zealand teams' unblemished record on home soil in 13 matches against overseas opposition this season.

The statistic underlines the challenge facing the British and Irish Lions as they seek to breach Fortress New Zealand mentality during their June-July tour.

The Stormers came out firing, determined not to repeat the slow start that led to last week's 57-24 demolition by the Crusaders.

They were rewarded in the seventh minute when Siya Kolisi went on a defence-busting run, then flicked a backhanded offload to set up Nizaam Carr's try.

The Highlanders hit back almost immediately, sending the ball through seven pairs of hands for Patrick Osborne to touch down in his 50th Super Rugby match for the hosts.

Waisake Naholo followed up with another after the Highlanders won a dubious line-out penalty to put themselves in a prime attacking position.

Osborne scored a second five-pointer off the back of a stray Stormers' kick, then Liam Squires crossed after the Highlanders set up a driving maul.

Osborne then set up the Highlander's fifth try, holding off two defenders to palm off the ball to Rob Thompson, who sent them into the break 31-7.

The nightmare continued for the Stormers after the break, with tries to Naholo, Dillon Hunt, Greg Pleasants-Tate and Matt Faddes.

A late consolation try to Dewaldt Duvenage did little to take the sting from a humiliating scoreline for the Stormers.

Man of the match: Nizaam Carr produced an impressive workrate, while Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth added some muscle. There were the usual suspects - like Ben and Aaron Smith - that had a big influence on the game. Patrick Osborne produced a game to match one of the most impressive moustaches in an interesting array of facial hair at the Dunedin encounter. And Waisake Naholo also got a double. The most productive player was Highlanders No.8 Liam Squire - who wins our award.

The scorers:

For the Highlanders:
Tries: 
Osborne 2, Naholo 2, Squire, Thompson, Hunt, Pleasants-Tate, Faddes
Cons: Banks 6

For the Stormers:
Tries:
 Carr, Duvenage
Cons: Du Preez 2

Yellow card: Aki Seiuli (Highlanders, 58 - foul play, high tackle)

Teams:

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Jackson Hemopo, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes.

Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Jan de Klerk, 4 Eben Etzebeth (vice-captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Shaun Treeby (Stormers debut), 23 Bjorn Basson.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

 

Patrick Osborne (11min), Waisake Naholo (17min), Patrick Osborne (20min), Liam Squire (29min), Rob Thompson (37min), Waisake Naholo (54min), Dillon Hunt (65min), Greg Pleasents (70min), and Matt Faddes (80min)
TRIES
Nizaam Carr (8min) and Dewaldt Duvenage (74min)
Marty Banks (12min), Marty Banks (31min), Marty Banks (39min), Marty Banks (56min), Marty Banks (66min), and Marty Banks (72min)
CONVERSIONS
Robert du Preez (9min) and Robert du Preez (75min)
 
PENALTIES
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
Aki Seiulu (57min)
 
 
VENUE Dunedin
REFEREE Glen Jackson (New Zealand)