LIVE MATCH COVERAGE

Super Rugby

Thumb_highlanders-logo-80x50 Highlanders

29

Thumb_blues-logo-80x50 Blues

21
Kick-off local time : Sat, 22 February 2014 - 19h35
Kick-off : Sat, 22 February 2014 - 08h35
Venue : Dunedin
Referee : Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
Match status : Result
  Highlanders Blues
Tries Aaron Smith (10min), Malakai Fekitoa (13min), Ben Smith (39min), and Patrick Osborne (49min) Francis Saili (41min), Angus Ta'avao (64min), and Patrick Tuipulotu (69min)
Penalties Lima Sopoaga (17min)
Conversions Lima Sopoaga (11min), Lima Sopoaga (14min), and Lima Sopoaga (40min)
Penalty tries
Yellow cards
Red cards
DGs
Commentary
Minute Commentary

80

The Blues throw everything at their hosts as they seek their fourth try but they knock on just outside the 22, but the Highlanders kick it straight back to them! The home side concedes a penalty and Noakes has a shot at goal to secure a bonus point for losing by seven or less. Noakes misses and it's FULL TIME. The Blues take nothing from the game despite their strong second half showing. The Highlanders won the game in the first half running up a 24-0 lead at the break, then did enough in the second 40 to hold on to their lead and chalk up a good victory. Join us shortly for more LIVE COVERAGE as the Brumbies host the Reds!

78

The Blues push early at the scrum and the Highlanders win a free-kick. The Highlanders chose another scrum and they are penalised! The Blues kick to touch on halfway

76

The Blues hold up a maul and win a scrum in their own 22.

75

Another penalty for the Highlanders. This time for Luatua not rolling away after a tackle. Time is ticking away for the Blues as they are pushed back into their own half

74

The Blues go again. Their loose forwards very prevalent once more as they surge towards the 22. But Marshall gives away a penalty to kill the attack

72

The visitors seek more tries and attack from their 22 again. Noakes puts in an aimless kick down the middle of the field and Ben Smith happily gathers and clears into touch

70

Noakes kicks the CONVERSION

69

The men from Dunedin attack but are penalised for holding on. Marshall takes it quickly and the Blues race down field through some strong runs from Peter Saili and Braid. A superb back flick pass from Marshall put Saili in the gap. Eventually Patrick Tuipulotu barges his way over to score the TRY!

68

The Blues gather the kick-off and attack from deep once more, with Luke Braid and Steven Luatua running hard. However they are penalised as Ta'avao joins the ruck from the side. Sopoaga has a shot at goal from the 10m and pulls the penalty to the left

65

Noakes kicks the CONVERSION to cut the deficit

64

The Blues attack, desperate to get some more points on the board. They win a penalty and tap and go from 10m out. A ruck ensues and Angus Ta'avao barges his way over from close range for a TRY!

63

Luatua runs strongly as the Blues try to get out of their own half. Noakes looks to have put in out on the full but the assistant referee thinks that Ben Smith has carried it out instead

61

Nothing comes of the men from Dunedin as Aaron Smith knocks on at the base of the ruck. The game has started to get a little bit scrappy in recent minutes

59

The Highlanders clear and Luatua knocks the ball out in his own 22 as he tries to recover. Former League superstar Benji Marshall comes onto the field from the bench to replace Jackson Willison

58

The Highlanders lose their line-out and the visitors can attack again. Good interplay from Tom Donnelly and Steven Luatua gains the Blues some ground but once more a knock on halts their momentum

56

The Blues don't use their reprieve as Ofa Tu'ungafasi loses his bind as is penalised. The Highlanders clear their lines

55

The 5m line-out is stolen by Shane Christie but he then loses it forward on the ground. The Blues will get another chance.

53

The Blues are straight onto the attack from the kick-off as they drive forward into the Highlanders 22. They win a penalty for offside and Noakes kicks to the corner

50

Sopoaga misses the conversion on this occasion but the home side have a healthy lead

49

The home side attack again and make slow but steady progress in the Blues 22. Treeby injects some pace into the attack. They spread the ball wide and Ben Smith is on hand to provide the try-scoring pass to put Osborne away for a TRY in the left hand corner! Bonus point try for the Highlanders

44

The Highlanders win a penalty and kick it down deep into Blues territory. Their attack breaks down when Liam Coltman enters the ruck from the side

42

Noakes adds the CONVERSION! In-off the post

41

Noakes gets the second half underway! Francis Saili is in for a TRY within 40 seconds! The centre breaks the line, puts in a little chip kick, regathers and rolls over the line to score a great individual try

40

Sopoaga is successful with the CONVERSION and that is HALF-TIME! The Highlanders have scored three-tries-to-nil to completely dominate their visitors from Auckland. The home side has been clinical and impressive so far. The Blues haven't looked after the ball and they've missed their penalty attempts to make a shaky start to their season

39

The men from Auckland don't do a very good job of clearing it however as they lose their own lineout and they Highlanders can attack once more! They build the phases and just meters out a superb pass from the base of the ruck from Aaron Smith finds Ben Smith who goes over to score the TRY!

38

The Highlanders look dangerous once more and launch a relentless attack in the Blues 22. Nasi Manu goes off his feet at the breakdown just 5m and gets penalised. The Blues can breathe again and clear

37

The Blues lose their lineout, Aaron Smith grabs it and breaks out at pace! He makes it into the Blues half before finding the support run of Gareth Evans. Evans feeds Patrick Osbourne who is caught. Sopoaga tries a cross kick but Halai gathers

35

The Highlanders lose their own lineout once more and the Blues get another chance to attack but they can't break down the defence and eventually Noakes kicks it aimlessly down field. The Highlanders kick it back to them and the Blues try again. They eventually win a penalty and Noakes kicks for touch and finds in inside the 22

33

Th visitors clear, but not very far at the Highlanders can attack again. They don't hold onto for very long and Weepu drills it away down field to relieve the pressure

30

After a few re-set scrums we are underway once more. Only for Piutua to kick it out on the full. The Highlanders take it quickly as they look to play the game at high speed. Eventually Sopoaga puts in a clever kick and grubbers it into touch 5m from the Blues line

27

The Blues lose their own lineout and the Highlanders can clear! But only as far as Frank Halai who runs it back. It all breaks down for the Blues when Weepu knocks it on at the base of the ruck

26

The Blues launch an attack from deep through Piutua. They batter away in the Highlanders 22 but don't make much progress further than the 5m. They have a penaltyas the Highlanders stray offside and Noakes kicks for touch

24

The Highlanders have the lineout in the Blues' 22 but can't find their jumper and lose the ball.

22

The Blues yet again try to string the phases together but make little progress as their lack of numbers at the breakdown hurts them. They have 65% possession but trail by 17 points.

20

Nasi Manu holds onto the ball now and gets penalised. Noakes has a shot from 47m out, and misses once more

17

The Blues are now penalised, Francis Saili for holding on. Sopoaga has another shot at goal from just over 40m, and he lands the PENALTY!

14

Sopoaga kicks the CONVERSION!

13

The Blues look to strike back and build the phases but they lose it forward and Malakai Fekitoa picks it inside his own half and breaks the first line of defence, before powering past the last two defenders to score a TRY under the poles!

11

Sopoaga adds the tricky sideline CONVERSION!

10

The Blues have a scrum from inside their own half. Piri Weepu feeds to Noakes who tries to clear but gets charged down by Aaron Smith! Smith gathers and scores the TRY!

8

The home side attempt a fancy-looking set play from second phase but their execution is off and it leads to a forward pass

6

Penalty to the Highlanders now. George Moala didn't roll away after making a tackle. Sopoaga lines up the kick from near to the right hand touchline and his attempt drops just short

4

Noakes misses to the left and the play resumes from a 22 restart. Charles Piutau makes a searing break but then the Blues don't look after the ball at the ensuing ruck. The Highlanders turn it over and clear

2

Christie gives away another breakdown penalty and Chris Noakes lines up a penalty attempt from 47 meters

1

Immediately the Blues try to run in out of their 22 but they win a penalty. Shane Christie penalised for no clear release in the tackle

0

Lima Sopoaga kicks off and we are underway in Dunedin!

-2

There is a good crowd in, and all is in readiness for the start. The teams make their way onto the field. The Blues led by Luke Braid and the Highlanders led by Ben Smith

-5

The last time the Blues won in Dunedin was in 2011, when they were 15-10 over victors at the Highlanders' old stadium Carisbrook. The men from Auckland will want to open their account at the Forsyth Barr

-10

The Blues will be hoping to get good ball to their dangerous backline which includes young All Blacks Charles Piutau, Francis Saili and last year's Super Rugby top try scorer Frank Halai

-15

The Highlanders will be looking to their star All Black Smiths - fullback Ben and scrumhalf Aaron - to provide some spark to a young backline, and to 39-year-old lock Brad Thorn and experienced eightman Nasi Manu to rally the pack

-20

Last year the honours were shared in the clashes between these two teams. The Blues won 29-18 in Auckland and the Highlanders won 38-28 here in Dunedin

-25

These two sides are known for their attacking brands of rugby, so we hope to have an exciting game under the roof!

-30

Welcome to the Forsyth Barr Stadium, in Dunedin, for the third match of Super Rugby Round 2!
Highlanders
Players
15 Ben Smith
14 Richard Buckman
13 Malakai Fekitoa
12 Phil Burleigh
11 Patrick Osborne
10 Lima Sopoaga
9 Aaron Smith
8 Nasi Manu
7 Shane Christie
6 Elliot Dixon
5 Joe Wheeler
4 Jarrad Hoeata
3 Chris King
2 Ged Robinson
1 Kane Hames

Substitutes
23 Gareth Evans
22 Trent Renata
21 Fumiaki Tanaka
20 Tom Franklin
19 Josh Bekhuis
18 JP Koen
17 Matias Diaz
16 Liam Coltman
Blues
Players
15 Charles Piutau
14 Lolagi Visinia
13 Francis Saili
12 Ma'a Nonu
11 Tevita Li
10 Ihaia West
9 Bryn Hall
8 Jerome Kaino
7 Brendon O'Connor
6 Steven Luatua
5 Tom Donnelly
4 Patrick Tuipulotu
3 Charlie Faumuina
2 Keven Mealamu
1 Sam Prattley

Substitutes
23 George Moala
22 Jackson Willison
21 Jamison Gibson-Park
20 Peter Saili
19 Hayden Triggs
18 Angus Ta'avao
17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi
16 James Parsons