Super Rugby

Chiefs beat Highlanders in Suva

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The first Super rugby match on Saturday is in Suva Fiji and is between the Highlanders and the Chiefs with the Highlanders being the “home” team.

While the Highlanders will be the home side this match will be their third in Suva as they played the Crusaders in Fiji in 2016 and 2017 so the Chiefs will be considerably more “at home” and familiar with the facilities.


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  • The Chiefs have won their last two games against the Highlanders, though they had lost six games on the bounce against them prior to that set.
  • The Highlanders have won four of their last five games at home against the Chiefs, with three of those four wins coming after having trailed at half-time.
  • The Highlanders have won 10 of their last 12 New Zealand derbies on home turf, including their last four in succession.
  • The Highlanders have endured the highest defensive workload of any team this season, making a competition-high 146 tackles per game this season.
  • Chiefs’ Solomona Alaimalo has gained the most metres (1,109) and clean breaks (36) of any player so far this season.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick off.

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

The Highlanders kick off and we are underway in Fiji.

1.00: The Chiefs win a penalty from the first breakdown. They kick for touch and take the line out.

2.00: The Chiefs win the line out and move the ball down the line. The ball pops up for Solomon Alaimalo who sees a gap, takes it and runs for the line. He cuts back in to wrongfoot Tevita Li and scores. TRY !

3.00: The conversion is added by Damian McKenzie.

5.00: Penalty to the Chiefs from the scrum. They kick for touch again and take the line out option.

8.00; The Chiefs go through six phases and press the Highlanders back into their 22. The Chiefs force the Highlanders to go offside and win a penalty for it. McKenzie kicks to the corner for the line out.

9.00: The Chiefs win the line out and get the advantage. They play on and test the Highlanders defensive skills again and again.

10.00; The Chiefs bash away at the Highlanders tryline and eventually Toni Pulu crashes over in the tackle and scores. TRY.

11.00: McKenzie adds the conversion.

12.00: The Chiefs kick deep into the Highlanders 22. Ben Smith goes for the ball, he misses the ball and concedes a penalty. The Chiefs take a line out.

14.00: The Chiefs win the line out and drive over the line and Karl Tu’inukuafe scores. TRY!

15.00: McKenzie adds the conversion. The Chiefs have had almost 90% of possession so far.

16.00: The Highlanders get some rare attacking ball and Waisake Naholo makes huge ground in the middle of the field. He is stopped but the end result is that the Highlanders get a line out near the 5m line.

18.00: The Highlanders win the line out move the ball to the middle and then chip to the corner for Naholo but it goes into touch.

20.00: The Chiefs win a scrum but then Lima Sopoaga knocks it on. The Highlanders are feeling the pressure.

23.00: Liam Messam makes another break for the Chiefs which gets them through the Highlanders initial defensive line. The Chiefs keep the ball moving and they get to the 5m line but the final pass goes into touch.

25.00: The Chiefs win a scrum inside the Highlanders 22 and they get the ball to Luke Jacobson who snipes and scores. TRY! In the build up the Highlanders stole the ball from the back of the scrum but then lost it and allowed the Chiefs to steal it back.

McKenzie adds the conversion.

26.00: Sopoaga restarts but the ball goes into touch on the full. In fairness there is a breeze affecting some kicks.

31.00: The Chiefs have the ball on attack again. Anton Lienert-Brown offloads to Sean Wanui who goes for the line but the final tackle is high so they are awarded a penalty. They take the scrum.

34.00: The Chiefs win the scrum but then Luke Whitelock is yellow carded for an intentional knock down. The Chiefs take the scrum option again.

34.00: The Chiefs win the scrum and Sean Wanui goes for the corner. It’s close. The TMO will have to check it. It’s a TRY.

36.00: McKenzie takes the conversion from out wide. He nails it.

39.00: The Chiefs continue the attack on the Highlanders. They go through 6 phases and get into the Highlanders 22 as the siren sounds.

40.00: the Chiefs lose the ball and the Highlanders get their hands on it. They go through 6 phases but then knock on. The Chiefs have an advantage but then they find space and move the ball wide where Toni Pulu scores his second TRY!

42.00: McKenzie adds the conversion.

Its half time.

The’half time score ‘was Highlanders 0 Chiefs 42

The second half is underway.

43.00: The Chiefs start the half as they finished and go through six phases before they knock on.

44.00: Penalty to the Highlanders for the front row collapsing. They take the line out.

45.00: The Highlanders win the line out and attack in the Chiefs 22. They move the ball at pace and Teihorangi Walden slips through and scores. TRY!

46.00: Sopoaga adds the conversion.

49.00: The Highlanders break through again and score but the try is ruled out by the TMO for a knock on in the build up.

52.00. The Highlanders start their attack from their 22. They keep the ball moving through the hands and after several offloads Elliot Dixon scores. TRY!

53.00: Sopoaga misses the conversion.

58.00: The Highlanders attack again and after a break from Rob Thompson they get to the line but they are held up. 5m scrum.

32.00: The Highlanders are on the attack again in the Chiefs 22. There is a high tackle but they play on with the advantange and Aki Seiuli goes over on the 11th phase. TRY!

63.00: Sopoaga misses the conversion again.

The Chiefs almost get through to score but the ball to Damien Mckenzie is high and he misses the catch so the try is missed. Meanwhile Waisake Naholo has been injured and has to leave the field. The game resumes with a 5 scrum for the Highlanders.

66.00; The Highlanders win the scrum and they break out. The ball gets to Rob Thompson who makes half the field. The ball goes to Buckman but is then lost.

70.00: Penalty to the Chiefs. McKenzie lines up the posts. He nails it. 7 from 7 for McKenzie.

73.00: Penalty to the Highlanders and a yellow card for Michael Allardice. The Highlanders tap it and get to the Chiefs 5m line where there is a knock on.

77.00: The Highlanders send wave after wave at the Chiefs line and then Shannon Frizell smashes through and scores. TRY! That cost the Chiefs a potential bonus point.

79:00 :The try is not converted by Sopoaga.

80.00; The siren sounds but there is time for a scrum.

81.00: The Chiefs – still playing with a man in the bin – win the scrum. They attack but then knock and lose the ball.

That’s it. The Chiefs have won.

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The full time score is Highlanders 22 (0) Chiefs 45 (42)

Scorers

Highlanders
Tries -T.Walden, E.Dixon, A.Seiuli, S.Frizell
Pen –
Con – L.Sopoaga
Drop –
Cards – L.Whitelock (34th min yellow)

Chiefs
Tries – S.Alaimalo, T.Pulu 2, K.Tu’inukuafe, L.Jacobson, S.Wanui
Pen – D.McKenzie
Con -D.McKenzie 6
Drop –
Cards -M.Allardice (73rd min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee:  Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 1:Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 2:James Doleman
TMO : Shane McDermott

Teams

Highlanders

Daniel Lienert-Brown, Ash Dixon (cc), Siate Tokolahi, Jackson Hemopo, Tom Franklin, Elliot Dixon, Dillon Hunt, Luke Whitelock, Aaron Smith, Lima Sopoaga, Tevita Li, Teihorangi Walden, Rob Thompson, Waisake Naholo, Ben Smith (cc)

Replacements : Liam Coltman, Aki Seiuli, Tyrel Lomax, Alex Ainley, Shannon Frizell, Kayne Hammington, Josh Ioane, Richard Buckman

Chiefs

1. Karl Tu’inukuafe , 2. Liam Polwart, 3. Angus Ta’avao, 4. Michael Allardice, 5. Tyler Ardron , 6. Luke Jacobson, 7. Sam Cane (c), 8. Liam Messam , 9. Brad Weber , 10. Damian McKenzie , 11. Sean Wainui , 12. Charlie Ngatai , 13. Anton Lienert-Brown , 14. Toni Pulu , 15. Solomon Alaimalo.

Replacements: 16. Samisoni Taukei’aho , 17. Sam Prattley, 18. Jeff Thwaites , 19. Jesse Parete, 20. Mitch Karpik , 21.Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi , 22. Marty McKenzie, 23. Shaun Stevenson

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