2015 Super Rugby champions the Highlanders are back at home this weekend where they host the Waratahs after a three match tour in which they went unbeaten.
The Highlanders have the second longest unbeaten streak currently as they have won their last eight matches. Only the unbeaten Crusaders have a longer streak. The Highlanders have played 12 matches and won 9.
We are waiting for the kick off.
Marty Banks kicks off and the match is underway.
1.00: The Waratahs start strongly. They work the ball through 8 phases but then knock on.
3.00: The Highlanders win the first scrum and run the ball into the Waratahs 22.
5.00: The Highlanders get the advantage but play on. After several phases the Highlanders are called back for the penalty from a high tackle. They take the line out option.
6.00: The Highlanders win the line out and after six phases they get to the line but give a penalty away for not releasing.
7.00: Bernard Foley clears the ball into touch.
9.00; The Waratahs are starting to slip off tackles. The Highlanders work the ball into the Waratahs 22 but then knock on. Waratahs scrum.
10.00: After a reset the Waratahs clear the ball into touch.
13.00: Penalty to the Highlanders. Marty Banks takes the kick and nails it. Highlanders lead.
14.00: Bernard Foley tries to clear the ball but it is charged down by Luke Whitelock, the ball bounces well for Richard Buckman who gets the ball and dives in for the try. The TMO will review the try. The try is awarded.
15.00: Banks adds the conversion.
18.00: The Waratahs go through 9 phases and get into the Highlanders 22. Israel Folau gets the ball from Foley and slips through Elliot Dixon’s tackle and scores. TRY!
19.00: Foley takes the conversion kick and nails it.
24.00: Penalty to the Waratahs. It’s kickable but they take the line out option. The Waratahs win the ball but Taqele Naiyaravoro knocks the ball forward. The Waratahs had the advantage so they get another penalty.
25.00: Foley kicks for touch and the line out.
28.00: The Waratahs win the line out but the Highlanders defend and get the ball to the half way line.
31.00: The Highlanders scrum powers through the Waratahs scrum and wins a penalty. Buckman lines up the posts.
32.00: Banks nails the penalty.
35.00: Penalty to the Waratahs.
37.00: Bernard Foley takes the kick but the ball just edges under the crossbar. Ben Smith goes for the ball but knocks it on. Waratahs 5m scrum.
38.00: The Waratahs win the scrum and pass out wide to Taqele Naiyaravoro who crashes through Ben Smith’s tackle and scores. TRY!
39.00: Bernard Foley takes the conversion kick from out wide. Foley curls it in to give the Waratahs the lead at half time.
40.00: It’s half time.
The half time score was Highlanders 13 Waratahs 14
The Waratahs kick off and the second half is underway.
42.00: The Waratahs put some pressure on the Highlanders but the Highlanders turn the ball over and Buckman runs down the wing and chases the ball after a kick but the ball goes into touch.
43.00: Ben Smith chips the ball behind the Waratahs and chases. Nick Phipps gets back and saves the try.
45.00: Elliot Dixon gets some help from the medics after a dangerous tackle. The TMO reviews the tackle. Dean Mumm is yellow carded for the tackle. Buckman kicks for touch.
46.00: The HIghlanders win the line out and Liam Coltman is driven over the line in a maul and scores. TRY!
47.00: Banks takes the conversion but misses. Highlanders lead.
49.00: The Highlanders have upped the pace of the game and the Waratahs are battling to keep up with a man down.
50.00: As the Highlanders press forward, Malakai Fekitoa puts in a cross kick and it goes straight to Tevita Li who catches the ball and scores. TRY!
51.00 : Banks hits the post with the conversion.
52.00: Nick Phipps leaves the field and Jake Gordon comes on.
54.00: The Highlanders are keeping the pressure on and targeting Naiyaravoro on defence.
55.00: The Waratahs respond by giving the ball to Naiyaravoro who is brought down by Tevita Li but he is then injured by Foley who comes up in support with the clean out. He carries on.
59.00: Ash Dixon comes on for Liam Coltman. The Highlanders win the line out with Dixon’s through but then at the breakdown Hooper wins a penalty. The Waratahs kick for touch. In between all of that there was a scuffle between Mumm and Aaron Smith.
60.00: Lima Sopoaga comes on for Banks.
63.00: The Highlanders win a scrum and kick deep into Waratahs territory. Cam Clark has to chase the ball and slices it into touch. Naiyaravoro is replaced by Bryce Hegarty.
64.00: The Waratahs win the line out and they attack the Waratahs line. They change sides and Rob Thompson slips through at pace and scores. TRY!
65.00: Sopoaga adds the conversion to extend the lead. The Waratahs have yet to score in the second half.
69.00; Penalty to the Waratahs. Foley kicks for touch to set up a line out in the Highlanders half.
70.00: The Waratahs win the line out and make quick ground in Highlanders territory. Jake Gordon slips through a gap and scores. TRY!
71.00: Foley adds the conversion.
72.00: The Highlanders break out as Siosuia Halanukonuka races for the line. He is stopped JUST short but the ball is recycled and Daniel Lienert-Brown scores the TRY!. The TMO confirms.
72.00: Sopoaga adds the conversion.
73.00: The Highlanders get the ball to Waisake Naholo who bounces off Bryce Hegarty’s tackle, he passes to Lima Sopoaga who scores what could be the bonus point try.
74.00: Sopoaga takes the conversion kick and nails it from outwide.
77.00: Out of nothing Jake Gordon races through into space from a qucik tap and scores. TRY!
80.00: The siren sounds and the Waratahs win a scrum. They run the ball but then lose it into touch.
The Highlanders have won.
The full time score is Highlanders 44 (13) Waratahs 28 (14)
Tries – R.Buckman, L.Coltman, T.Li, R.Thompson, D.Lienert-Brown, L.Sopoaga
Pen – M.Banks 2
Con – M.Banks, L.Sopoaga 3
Tries – I.Folau, T.Naiyaravoro, J.Gordon2
Con -B.Foley 4
Cards – D.Mumm (45th min yellow)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1:James Doleman
Assistant Ref 2:Cam Stone
TMO : Shane McDermott
1. Aki Seiuli, 2. Liam Coltman, 3. Siate Tokolahi, 4. Alex Ainley, 5. Tom Franklin, 6. Elliot Dixon, 7. Dillon Hunt, 8. Luke Whitelock, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Marty Banks, 11. Tevita Li, 12. Richard Buckman, 13. Malakai Fekitoa, 14. Waisake Naholo, 15. Ben Smith ( cc )
Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon (cc), 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18. Siosuia Halanukonuka, 19. Joe Wheeler, 20. Gareth Evans, 21. Kayne Hammington, 22. Lima Sopoaga, 23. Rob Thompson
1. Tom Robertson, 2 .Tolu Latu ,3 .Sekope Kepu,4 .Dean Mumm,5 .Will Skelton,6 .Ned Hanigan,7. Michael Hooper ©,8. Michael Wells,9. Nick Phipps,10. Bernard Foley,11. .Cam Clark,12. .David Horwitz,13. Rob Horne,14 . Taqele Naiyaravoro,15. Israel Folau
Replacements : 16. Damien Fitzpatrick,17. Paddy Ryan,18.Angus Taavao 19.David McDuling, 20.Jed Holloway,21. Jake Gordon,22. Bryce Hegarty, 23. Irae Simone