Super Rugby

Highlanders beat Chiefs in Hamilton




The Chiefs and the Highlanders have played each other 31 times in Super Rugby, the Chiefs have won 18 matches and lost 13.

In the 31 matches between the teams, there have been no draws.

  • The Chiefs have won their last three games on the bounce against the Highlanders, this after having lost their six games against them prior.
  • The Highlanders have won on two of their last three visits to the FMG Waikato Stadium to face the Chiefs, picking up a losing bonus point in their only loss in that span.
  • Each of the last 14 New Zealand derbies has been won by the team leading at half-time on the day, with each of the last six seeing the home team triumph.
  • The Highlanders averaged 143 tackles per match last season in Super Rugby, the most of any team; however, their tackle success rate against the Waikato side in week 17 last season (74%) was their worst for any match.
  • Only the Waratahs’ Taqele Naiyaravoro (1478) gained more metres last season than the Chiefs’ Solomon Alaimalo (1447).

Match detail

We are waiting for the kickoff.

The conditions are perfect for rugby in this late summer fixture in Hamilton.

1.00: PEEEP! The Highlanders get us underway (to the sound of the famous cowbells) for another season of Super Rugby.

2.00: Liam Coltman barges over Brad Weber for the first try of the Super Rugby season. TMO Aaron Paterson took a while to decide if the hooker had grounded the ball, then comes to the decision that it was not. Strange call overturning referee Glen Jackson’s call. The mind boggles.

4.00: We are having a couple of scrum resets.

6.00: The Waikato men survive the danger. The visitors go right after an unconvincing scrum, and the ball is lost forward. It was a good line-speed by the Chiefs to halt the attack.

7.00: Tumua Manu, on debut for the Chiefs, clears the danger.

8.00: Angus Ta’avao is pinged, allowing the Highlanders to set up another attack inside the 22.

9.00: Josh Ioane’s little DINK-kick runs out, over the dead-ball line and kills the attack.

11.00: The visitors have had two good opportunities to put points on the board but have squandered them. The Chiefs are hanging in, here.

13.00: Bailyn Sullivan concedes his team’s third penalty, this time for hands in the ruck. Michael Allardice is then caught offsides.

15.00: TRY! Finally, after 75 per cent possession, the Highlanders get their reward. Pari Pari Parkinson, with a good, low body position, powers over near the posts. 0-5

16.00: CONVERSION! J. Ioane adds the extras. 0-7

18.00: Kane Hammington’s kick is charged down before a comedy of errors – and poor hands – leads to a Chiefs scrum, five metres out.

20.00: TRY! Tyler Ardron, the big Canadian beast, breaks blind and ghosts through Hammington for the score. 5-7

21.00: MISS! The kick hits the left post.

22.00: TRY! Magnificent from Anton Lienert-Brown and Sullivan to set up Ta’avao’s try. 

23.00: CONVERSION! Weber makes no mistake, this time. 12-7

26.00: The momentum has definitely swung towards the hosts since Parkinson’s five-pointer. The Chiefs are playing with some swagger, and the Highlanders are creaking.

29.00: The home team are camped inside the opposition’s half, and are going through the phases, building patiently.

32.00: Highlanders win one against the throw, but cough up the ball easily.

33.00: Hands in the ruck by the visitors, and Shaun Stevenson will take the long-range shot.

34.00: MISS! Stevenson’s attempt is high and very wide. The ball did not reach the try line and a mark was called.

36.00: The hosts have gone off the boil since Ardron’s try. This time, Stevenson throws a poor pass into touch.

37.00: Ioane’s clearance kick is not great, setting up a lineout near the Highlanders 22.

38.00: TRY! WOW! Lienert-Brown and Nathan Harris combine, on the short side, to send Etene Nanai-Seturo over in the corner. It started from the lineout and a wonderful offload from Michael Allardice. 17-7

39.00: CONVERSION! Weber adds another two. 19-7

40.00: Some poor discipline from the home team, straight after scoring they concede a needless penalty. Ioane calls for the tee.

42.00: PENALTY! The first five-eighth reduces the deficit, and that is that for the opening half. 19-10

The halftime score was Chiefs 19 Highlanders 10

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in the second half in Hamilton. 

43.00: Both sides have come out, after the break, and are playing with a tempo that was lacking at the end of the first half. The visitors earn a penalty after flooding the middle channel with big ball carriers.

44.00: PENALTY! Ioane slots his second penalty, and it’s a six-point ball game. 19-13

46.00: Highlanders win a turnover and attack down the right side of the field. They’ve come out firing, but a knock on kills a promising attack. The Dunedin team is slowly clawing their way back into the contest.

48.00: Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger brings on his ACE halfback – and namesake – Aaron Smith.

49.00: TRY! Some more magic by the Chiefs. It’s Nanai-Seturo with a walkover after collecting Orbyn Leger’s pin-point cross kick. Leger started the attack after gathering his own chip-kick, in the build-up. 24-13

50.00: MISS! Weber’s kick is wide. 24-13

54.00: We have a scrum in the middle of the park. Some of the handling has been poor, but the kicking game from Leger and Lienert-Brown has been sublime.

57.00: Weber is stopped short of the line by Dillon Hunt and the halfback loses the ball. Scrum to the Highlanders under the visitor’s posts.

58.00: Weber is leaving the field with a shoulder injury.

59.00: Aaron Smith takes the responsibility of clearing.

60.00: Them cowbells are ringing loud and clear. It’s great to have Super Rugby, back.

62.00: An overthrow in the lineout is cleaned up by Aaron Smith. The halfback is everywhere, setting up Ben Smith for an attack, but the ball is lost.

63.00: TRY! Shannon Frizell powers over after gathering Tyrel Lomax’s offload. Lomax burst through a ruck and offloaded to the winger when he could have taken contact, killing the attack. Smart. 24-18

65.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good from Ioane. 24-20

67.00: MASSIVE CALL! RED CARD for a shoulder charge and Patelesio Tomkinson is off. He had only just come on the field. It looks a harsh call. 

68.00: PENALTY! Stephen Donald, taking over from Weber, adds the three. 27-20

70.00: The Highlanders win a penalty in a kickable area and opt for poles.

71.00: PENALTY! Ioane reduces the deficit to four. 27-23

74.00: Despite being a man down, the Highlanders are finishing stronger.

76.00: TRY! What a turnaround by the Otago men, who take the lead at the death. It’s another sniping Aaron Smith score. 27-28.

77.00: CONVERSION! Ioane adds the extras. 27-30

79.00: The Highlanders win a penalty, and Ioane kicks to touch, which is the smart move.

81.00: Josh Dickson takes the lineout ball, and Aaron Smith clears to touch for a superb come-from-behind away victory to kickstart the new campaign.


In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.

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The final score is Chiefs 27 (19) Highlanders 30 (10)


Tries – Ardron, Ta’avao, Nanai-Seturo (2)
Pen – Donald
Con – Weber (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Parkinson, Frizell, A. Smith
Pen – J. Ioane (3)
Con – J. Ioane (3)
Drop –
Cards – Tomkinson (Red, 67′)

Match Officials
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 2: Nick Briant
TMO: Aaron Paterson


Chiefs: 15 Shaun Stevenson, 14 Bailyn Sullivan, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Orbyn Leger, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tyler Ardron, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick (captain), 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Atu Moli.

Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Telani Seu, 20 Jesse Parete, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Ataata Moeakiola.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Luke Whitelock (co-captain), 7 James Lentjes, 6 Jackson Hemopo, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone.

Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Dillon Hunt, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Patelesio Tomkinson.

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