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The Highlanders and the Chiefs have met each other 15 times and the Chiefs have a strong winning track record against the Highlanders.


Interestingly this match will be played in Dunedin for the first time in six years as the last time the Highlanders played the Chiefs was in 2004 when the Chiefs won 31-36.


Worryingly the Highlanders have lost all of the last seven clashes between these two teams and the Highlanders have won just one of the last ten clashes.


On average the Highlanders score 23 points against the Chiefs and the Chiefs score 25 when these two teams meet.


Last week the Highlanders beat the Hurricanes in Wellington 9-14 with Ma’a Nonu being off the field for almost 30 of the 80 minute match. Nonu’s absence obviously impacted on the game but the Highlanders didn’t win because of the sending off.


The Highlanders played with passion and led 6-11 at half time having scored the only try of the match. It was an all round impressive performance from the Highlanders.


In round one the Chiefs failed to turn up for their match against the Brumbies in Canberra. Whilst they lost the match 28-20 their second half comeback arguably had more to do with the Brumbies going off the boil in the third quarter of the match.


The Chiefs performance was anything but flattering and because of this they have dropped Brendon Leonard to the bench and Tana Umaga has been dropped from the squad entirely. Mike Delany has replaced Stephen Donald and the Chiefs will only have had six days to prepare for this match.


The Bookies have given the Highlanders a 5.5 point start which means that they are predicting that the Chiefs will win by 6. – They also have a Bet £ 10 and get £ 20 offer. We were impressed by the Highlanders last weekend and they looked like there were finally walking the walk. We are going against history and the bookies and picking the Highlanders to sneak it by 3.


Highlanders overall record against the Chiefs
Played 15 , Wins 5 , Losses 10


Last five results.
Sat, 03 Apr 2010 Highlanders v Chiefs 21-27 Mount Maunganui
Sat, 14 Mar 2009 Highlanders v Chiefs 10-14 Ivercargill
Sat, 29 Mar 2008 Highlanders v Chiefs 24-39 Hamilton
Sat, 07 Apr 2007 Highlanders v Chiefs 34-38 Queenstown
Sat, 01 Apr 2006 Highlanders v Chiefs 13-16 Hamilton


Match No.8: Highlanders v Chiefs
Date Friday 25 February
Venue : Dunedin
Kick Off local: 19:35
Kick Off GMT: 6:35
Referee: Mark Lawrence
Assistant Ref 1:Vinny Munro
Assistant Ref 2:Sindile Mayende
TMO : Keith Brown


Teams


Highlanders: Ben Smith, James Paterson, Kendrick Lynn, Shaun Treeby, Kade Poki, Lima Sopoaga, Jimmy Cowan, Nasi Manu, Alando Soakai, Adam Thomson, Josh Bekhuis, Jarrad Hoeata, David Te Moana, Jason Rutledge, Jamie Mackintosh (captain).


Reserves: Mahroni Schwalger, Bronson Murray, Joe Tuineau, John Hardie, Aaron Smith, Robbie Robinson, Siale Piutau.


Chiefs: Mils Muliaina (captain), Lelia Masaga, Jackson Willison, Dwayne Sweeney, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Mike Delany, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Messam, Tanerau Latimer, Scott Waldrom, Isaac Ross, Hayden Triggs, Nathan White, Aled de Malmanche, Toby Smith.


Reserves: Ben May, Daniel Perrin, Culum Retallick, Steven Setephano, Brendon Leonard, Stephen Donald, Tim Nanai-Williams.

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