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Blues

FULL-TIME
16     34

Highlanders

Super Rugby | Eden Park
07:35 (GMT) | 20-04-2018
  • 81
Stay with us as we go straight to our live coverage of the Lions vs Waratahs
  • 80
The Blues win a penalty and take it quickly. The referee sounds the whistle to end the game. FULL TIME
  • 79
The Blues turnover at their 5 after a run from Walden. The Blues trying to play their way out of their 22
  • 78
Line-out to the Highlanders at the opposite side of the 10 now. Ben Smith kicks forward and the runner is there to collect
  • 77
Penalty to the Blues and Akira Ioane takes it quickly and makes a few meters before the ball goes out wide
  • 76
The Highlanders contain the pressure and have a throw at the half way
  • 75
Gatland looks for the sneaky kick forward trying to unleash Ioane but it's read and cleared
  • 74
The Blues pressing forward to the 5 of the away team
  • 73
The ball lost forward in contact inside the 22 of the visitors and the Blues have a scrum
  • 72
The Blues come alive no in the last 10 minutes as they send it wide for Nock after moving it around the mid field. He runs it to the 22 before being taken out by the Highlanders flyhalf. Line-out to the visitors
  • 71
Gatland sends it wide
  • 70
The Blues play the ball out wide and cross the line with Manu making it look easy, but perhaps a tad tool late. TRY
  • 69
Scrum to the Blues at the 5
  • 68
The hosts show great passing skills as they make it to the 5 of the away team with incredible reads. The ball is passed forward in the defence by Sopoaga
  • 66
The Blues fumbling around in defence as they try to find some sort of control
  • 65
Line-out to the Highlanders at the 22
  • 64
The Blues outside the 22 now. Gatland gets it and considers his options a tad too long before being brought down. Faddes gets it and the ball is kicked forward into touch
  • 63
The ball lost forward and the Blues have a scrum at the away team 10
  • 62
The visitors progress forward to the mid field where both teams fight to regain certain control of the ball
  • 61
The Ioane brothers trying hard to make something happen by throwing their bodies in a series of tackles but to no avail. The ball lost forward in contact and the Highlanders have a scrum at their 22
  • 60
The ball lost forward after the reset and the Blues have a scrum at the 22 of the visitors
  • 58
Sopoaga secures the extras
  • 56
The Highlanders maneuver it around inside and out confusing the defensive line of the Blues and Frizell makes it over the line for his hatrick. TRY
  • 55
The ball lost forward by the attackers and the Ruru takes the ball out the back and clears. Line-out to the visitors at the home team 22
  • 54
A little chip over the top as the Highlanders win possession and the visitors pressing at the 22 again now
  • 53
They kick into touch at the 10 of the Blues and the hosts have the ball after the throw. Faiane trying to run it forward for his team but he can't make it out of his half
  • 52
The Blues stretch the Highlanders out wide and make it into the 22 of the away team. Penalty to the visitors
  • 51
The Blues win the ball inside their 10 and now begin to work their way forward moving it out wide
  • 50
The ball is tossed into touch and the Highlanders come away unscathed. Line-out to the visitors at their 5. They win a penalty after and clear into touch
  • 49
Scrum reset
  • 48
Scrum to the Blues at the Highlanders 5
  • 47
The Blues maintaining possession inside the away team half. The ball lost forward at the 5 now
  • 46
The Blues inside the 22 now trying to narrow the gap again
  • 45
Sopoaga adds the extras
  • 43
Frizell breaks along the outside and gives an offload around Akira Ioane for Hammington who slips through the gap and scores a TRY
  • 42
The Highlanders have a throw inside the 10 of the hosts. The Blues win the ball and clear but the visitors come again
  • 41
The second half is underway

Half Time

  • 40
The Highlanders lose it forward as they attack. The referee sounds his whistle for HALF TIME
  • 39
The ball being fumbled about by both teams in the mid field until it's lost forward. Scrum to the Highlanders
  • 38
Sopoaga lines up his kick and it's good
  • 36
The away team press forward after the restart and win a penalty around the 22
  • 35
Sopoaga sends it far wide
  • 33
The Highlanders take the ball down and move forward with pace. They send it from one wing to another showing great team work and unleash Frizell along the wing. He goes all the way to score the TRY
  • 32
Line-out to the hosts at the 10 of the visitors. The throw is stolen and the ball cleared
  • 31
The Blues building rapidly now as it's moved out wide to Rieko Ioane and he makes his way to the 5. The cavalry is there but the Highlanders hold their ground and manage to clear
  • 30
Scrum to the hosts
  • 29
The restart kick is there and the Blues run it forward to the half way before it's lost forward
  • 28
The Highlanders win a penalty inside the 22 of the hosts and Sopoaga sends it wide
  • 26
Scrum to the Highlanders at the half way
  • 25
The home team make their way to the half way. The referee halts play. Tokohali is walked off the field
  • 24
Scrum to the Blues inside their 22
  • 22
The Highlanders have a scrum inside the 22. They move the ball out wide and the referee says forward pass after looking to the TMO
  • 21
He takes his kick and puts on 3 more
  • 20
Ash Dixon penalized at the 22 and the Blues have a penalty. Gatland immediately looks to the sticks
  • 19
The Blues moving the ball out wide looking for space but the Highlanders reading them well
  • 18
Scrum reset
  • 17
Scrum to the hosts in the mid field
  • 16
The hosts fight their way forward to make a few meters forward. The referee sounds his whistle as the ball is lost forward
  • 15
The Highlanders resilient in their tackles as they ensure the Blues don't leave their half
  • 14
The reset kick is there and the Blues take control of it then start to work their way forward
  • 13
Gatland prepares to take his kick. He puts his foot through it and adds 3
  • 11
The Blues have the ball now and they rush forward with the pace they are known for. The hosts win a penalty at the 22 of the away team
  • 10
The Highlanders have a throw at their 10. They make some ground with the maul and send it to the opposite side of the field. The visitors move inside the 22 but the hosts turnover and Gatland clears into touch
  • 9
Gatland fails to add the 2 points and the gap is now at 7
  • 8
The referee refers to the TMO and says Ruru's TRY will stand
  • 7
Akira Ioane with a sloppy pass out the ruck but the Blues manage to salvage the loose ball
  • 6
The Blues take their reset and seem to find their feet as they come out with the ball now in the 22 of the visitors
  • 5
Sopoaga adds the extras this time around
  • 4
They shove their way over the line with continued pressure and Frizell is the man who bags the 5 points
  • 3
The Highlanders on the attack again after the restart as they press to 5 of the hosts
  • 2
Sopoaga hits the upright. Highlanders have a 5-0 lead in the opening minutes
  • 1
Gatland under pressure after the kickoff and he looks to clear and Hunt charges it down then falls on the ball to score the first TRY of the game
  • 0
The Highlanders win the toss and opt for the first kick-off. The referee sounds his whistle and we're off
  • -2
Both sets of players observe a moment of silence
  • -5
The Blues are winless in 14 New Zealand derbies. However, their last such win did come in a home game against the Highlanders (February 2016)
  • -15
Indeed, the Highlanders are looking for back-to-back away wins against the Blues for the first time in Super Rugby, after a 16-12 win at Eden Park last term
  • -20
The Highlanders have won nine of their last 12 games against the Blues, including each of their last three on the bounce; never have they won four in a row against the Auckland club
  • -30
Welcome to Eden Park, where the Blues will host the Highlanders
Mc blues logo 80x50
Blues
Mc highlanders logo 80x50
Highlanders
START LINE UP
  • 1 Pauliasi Manu
  • 2 James Parsons
  • 3 Michael Tamoaieta
  • 4 Patrick Tuipulotu
  • 5 Jimmy Tupou
  • 6 Dalton Papalii
  • 7 Kara Pryor
  • 8 Akira Ioane
  • 9 Jonathan Ruru
  • 10 Bryn Gatland
  • 11 Rieko Ioane
  • 12 TJ Faiane
  • 13 Orbyn Leger
  • 14 Jordan Hyland
  • 15 Stephen Perofeta
RESERVES
  • 16 Matt Moulds
  • 17 Ross Wright
  • 18 George Moala
  • 19 Sione Mafileo
  • 20 Ben Neenee
  • 21 Murphy Taramai
  • 22 Sam Nock
  • 23 Tumua Manu
  • 24 Matt Duffie
START LINE UP
  • 1 Daniel Leinert-Brown
  • 2 Ash Dixon
  • 3 Siate Tokolahi
  • 4 Jackson Hemopo
  • 5 Tom Franklin
  • 6 Shannon Frizell
  • 7 Dillon Hunt
  • 8 Luke Whitelock
  • 10 Lima Sopoaga
  • 11 Tevita Li
  • 12 Teihorangi Walden
  • 13 Rob Thompson
  • 14 Waisake Naholo
  • 15 Ben Smith
RESERVES
  • 9 Kayne Hammington
  • 16 Liam Coltman
  • 17 Aki Seiulu
  • 18 Tyrel Lomax
  • 19 Alex Ainley
  • 20 Elliot Dixon
  • 21 Aaron Smith
  • 22 Fletcher Smith
  • 23 Matt Faddes
Mc article super rugby round 10   part one 800

PREVIEW: Super Rugby, Round 10 - Part One

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 20:31

HITTING THE ROAD: Two desperate teams and one getting its first taste of touring this season.

Friday's action starts with an all-New Zealand derby, which pits the Blues against the Highlanders - the two lowest-placed teams in the New Zealand conference.

The Hurricanes top the Kiwi conference with 27 points, followed by the Crusaders (24), Chiefs (21), Highlanders (19) and Blues (12).

The Blues are out of the running, playing for pride only - unless something very dramatic happens. The Highlanders can still catch the leaders, but can't afford another defeat this weekend.

The other Friday match sees the Lions - neaten finalists the past two years - hot the road, a four-match tour that will define their season.

They start off against the Australian conference leaders, the Waratahs, in Sydney.

We take a look at the Friday matches!

Friday, April 20:

Blues v Highlanders
(Eden Park, Auckland - Kick-off: 19.35; 07.35 GMT)

The game starts a run of six games from seven for the Blues at Eden Park, with coach Tana Umaga wanting the team to take full advantage of being at home.

"We have been mostly on the road, with a tough two-game trip to South Africa and now a trip to Japan with a short turn-around," Umaga said of their first seven matches.

"But we are home at Eden Park in front of our fans and our families for the next few games.

"We want to make this our fortress in the coming weeks starting on Friday."

The Blues' depth has been tested this season, with 18 players out injured.

However, Umaga was adamant it should not be a factor.

"All of the teams have injuries and we are no different," the coach said.

"But it gives opportunities for other players to stand up and bring some real enthusiasm to our team.

"We have improved over the last two weeks and once again we have to step up again to another level in every facet of our game.

"Our record against other New Zealand team is well documented so we want to make to make our homecoming a special one."

The Highlanders are certainly wary of a side whose results are not a reflection of their capabilities.

"They're a good side, they've got some outstanding players," Highlanders assistant coach Glenn Delaney said if a team with just two wins in seven starts.

"Some of the results haven't necessarily gone their way, but it doesn't make them an easy proposition at all," he said.

"They've got threats across the park, they've got good structure, [Stephen] Perofeta has come back and is playing really well for them so they're a challenge and they're a team on their home patch you have to prepare very well and diligently for.

"We know it's going to be a hell of a task for us."

Recent results:
2018: Highlanders won 41-34, Dunedin
2017: Highlanders won 26-20, Dunedin
2017: Highlanders won 16-12, Auckland
2016: Blues won 33-31, Auckland
2015: Highlanders won 44-7, Auckland
2015: Highlanders won 30-24, Dunedin

Prediction: The Highlanders have won nine of their last 12 games against the Blues, including each of their last three on the bounce; never have they won four in a row against the Auckland club. Indeed, the Highlanders are looking for back-to-back away wins against the Blues for the first time in Super Rugby, after a 16-12 win at Eden Park last term. The Blues are winless in 14 New Zealand derbies. However, their last such win did come in a home game against the Highlanders (February 2016). The Blues have the best success rates at both the line-out (91 percent) and scrum (94 percent) this season, however, they also have the worst tackle success rate (81 percent). Three of the six players to make the most tackles this season play for the Highlanders; Luke Whitelock (90, third-most), Thomas Franklin (86, fifth) and Dillon Hunt (85, sixth). Yes, the Blues have a realistic chance, but don't your house on it. The Highlanders should win by 12 points.

Teams:

Blues: 15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Orbyn Leger, 12 Tinoai Faiane, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 Jimmy Tupou, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi/Mike Tamoaieta, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds/Leni Apisai, 17 Ross Wright, 18 Mike Tamoaieta/Sione Mafileo, 19 Ben Neenee, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Tumua Manu, 23 Matt Duffie.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Alex Ainley, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Angus Mabey, Mike Lash
TMO: Ben Skeen

Waratahs v Lions
(Allianz Stadium, Sydney - Kick-off: 19.45; 11.45 SA Time; 09.45 GMT)

The Waratahs are expecting a huge physical onslaught from the Lions, South Africa's premier team for the last three years.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said that is the reason why he named six forwards and just two backs on the bench.

"The reasons for that is we see this game being extremely physical and we wanted to have some bigger bodies in our forward pack to cater for the big South African forward pack that will be presented on Friday," Gibson said.

"We see that while the Lions have a real strength in their scrum, we have also opted to cover some injury concerns going into this game with a bolstered [six forwards and two backs] bench.

"It's always a risk going six-two, because you're one short in the backs, but we are willing to take that risk in preparation to what we see is going to be a hugely physical encounter.

"While we are one of the smaller packs going around, we are punching above our weight and we have certainly cleaned up our vulnerabilities in terms of stopping line-out drives.

"We see that as a real strength the Lions possess, and something we are going to have to be very good in stopping on Friday,"

The visitors have won just one of their last three matches and are desperate to collect as many points as they can on the Australian leg of a road trip that will also see them take on the Reds, Hurricanes and Highlanders.

Lions coach Swys de Bruin said his charges are "fresh and ready to tour", after last week's bye.

"This year the tour is a bit more challenging," De Bruin said - comparing it to 2017 when they had a three-match tour to Australia, which started in Perth, and faced no New Zealand teams.

"There is also the additional two-hour timezone change, when we head to New Zealand."

The Lions, who travelled only on Tuesday and arrived in Sydney on Wednesday, did most of their preparation at home - in an attempt to beat the jet lag bug.

"The style they [the Waratahs] play is an all-round brand," Fe Bruin said.

"They have a good scrum. And, with the likes of [Bernard] Foley and that monster wing [Taqele Naiyaravoro], they have a balanced team.

"They have made the [step] up and it shows in their results."

Recent results:
2017: Lions won 55-36, Johannesburg
2015: Lions won 27-22, Johannesburg
2014: Waratahs won 41-13, Sydney
2011: Waratahs won 29-12, Sydney
2010: Waratahs won 73-12, Sydney

Prediction: The Lions have won their last two games against the Waratahs; they had won just one of eight meetings with the New South Wales side prior to that brace. The Waratahs are on a four-game winning run, the last time they went on a longer streak was a nine-game run which ended with victory in the 2014 Final. The Lions have won nine of their last 10 fixtures against Australian outfits, including their last six in a row. Taqele Naiyaravoro has the best average gain per carry (13 metres) of any player to make 25+ carries this season, crossing for seven tries across his last four outings. Malcolm Marx has won a competition-high 12 turnovers so far, 10 of which have been jackals. The Lions have an excellent chance to win - they have the talent and skills. However, their inconsistency this season - with their best performances coming against South African teams - suggest the vastly improved Waratahs will sneak a win, by seven points.

Teams:

Waratahs: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (Captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Nick Palmer, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Will Miller, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Lalakai Foketi

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Francois Mostert (captain), 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nicholas Groom, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports

Jonathan Ruru (8min) and Tumua Manu (70min)
TRIES
Dillon Hunt (1min), Shannon Frizell (4min), Shannon Frizell (33min), Kayne Hammington (43min), and Shannon Frizell (56min)
 
CONVERSIONS
Lima Sopoaga (5min), Lima Sopoaga (45min), and Lima Sopoaga (58min)
Bryn Gatland (13min) and Bryn Gatland (21min)
PENALTIES
Lima Sopoaga (38min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Eden Park
REFEREE Marius van der Westhuizen