VIDEO: Highlanders blitz willing Brumbies

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 07:05
Large ben smith highlanders v brumbies 800

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Highlanders scored 21 points in a 10-minute blitz to set up a convincing win over the Brumbies.

The Highlanders stretched their unbeaten home run to 10 matches with their 43-17 win over their Australian rivals in Dunedin on Saturday.

The Highlanders held a slender 15-10 lead after a very tight first hour. Yen minutes later the home team was leading 36-10.

From then on the Brumbies were playing for pride only.

The Highlanders - picked up a bonus point with their six tries to two victory - bounced back from two consecutive losses to reignite their play-off hopes.

The game swung midway through the second half when the Highlanders, leading 15-10 but down to 14 men with Lima Sopoaga in the sin bin, scored three tries in 10 minutes.

Waisake Naholo ignited the spree with an intercept as the Brumbies swarmed towards the line, and he sprinted the length of the field to score.

It eased the pressure on the Highlanders, who followed up with tries to Ben Smith and Shannon Frizzel to open up that 36-10 lead.

Joe Powell scored for the Brumbies and Fletcher Smith for the Highlanders in the helter-skelter closing minutes.

"We lost our way a bit in that second half," Brumbies skipper Christian Lealiifano said.

"Obviously that intercept hurt us,: he added.

Highlanders captain Ben Smith admitted they were aided by the intercept.

"When the game gets a bit unstructured that's what we like," Smith said.

Man of the match: You seldom have to look much further than David Pocock. Rory Arnold was another massive contributor to the Brumbies' cause. The work of the entire Highlanders - against a very impressive Brumbies set of forwards - has to be applauded. However, it is the creativity and ability of the Highlanders duo to read the game of Ben and Aaron Smith that caused the most damage - with fullback Ben Smith winning our award.

The scorers:

For the Highlanders:
Tries:
Sopoaga, B Smith 2, Naholo, Frizell, F Smith
Cons: Sopoaga 5
Pen: Sopoaga

For the Brumbies:
Tries:
Naisarani, Powell
Cons: Hawera 2
Pen: Hawera

Yellow card: Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders, 51 - foul play, spear tackle)

Teams:

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

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 James Dargaville, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Matt Lucas, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 David Pocock, 6 Tom Cusack, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga'a, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Sam Carter, 20 Michael Oakman-Hunt, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Kyle Godwin, 23 Andrew Smith

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: James Doleman (New Zealand),, James Munroe  (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 14h15 Paris
Fri, 27 April 2018
Munster v Ulster 22h00 Thomond Park
Kings v Cheetahs 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Treviso v Zebre 22h00 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Scarlets 22h00 Rodney Parade
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht v Leinster 22h00 Sportsground
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 22h00 Sixways
Wasps v Northampton Saints 22h00 Ricoh Arena
London Irish v Saracens 22h00 Madejski Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Bath 22h00 Kingsholm
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 22h00 Sandy Park
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
Sharks v Bulls 10 | 40
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 7 4 0 3 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Blues 7 2 0 5 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14
Jaguares 7 3 0 4 12