Faddes stars as Highlanders beat Crusaders
PRE-SEASON REPORT: Highlanders centre Matt Faddes scored a first-half hat-trick in his team's 42-26 win over the Crusaders in a Super Rugby pre-season clash in Waimumu on Thursday.
The Highlanders raced to 14-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes after tries from Faddes and Jackson Hemopo.
The Crusaders hit back through a penalty try after they bulldozed a Highlanders' scrum.
The visiting Crusaders team then stormed into a 19-12 lead after midfield breaks saw Bryn Hall and prop Wyatt Crockett cross the whitewash.
However, another two tries from Faddes gave the Highlanders a 28-19 lead at half-time.
The Crusaders were back within two points of the Highlanders 15 minutes into the second half after Braydon Ennor scored his side's fourth try.
That was the closest the Crusaders would get to the Highlanders before the end as a penalty try and Tei Walden try in the closing minutes sealed the victory and the Farmlands Cup for the Highlanders.
Tries: Faddes 3, Hemopo, Penalty Try, Walden
Cons: Sopoaga 3, F Smith 2
Tries: Penalty Try, Hall, Crockett, Ennor
Cons: Mo'unga, Hunt
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Braydon Ennor, 11 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Peter Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Chris King, Ben Funnell, Oliver Jager, Luke Romano, Quinten Strange, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Billy Harmon, Mitchell Drummond, Mithcel Hunt, Jone Macilai, Tim Bateman, Manasa Mataele, George Bridge.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Alex Ainley, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Elliot Dixon, 22 Kayne Hammington, 23 Fletcher Smith, 24 Teihorangi Walden, 25 Tevita Nabura.