Chiefs beat Highlanders in Dunedin


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2012 Super Rugby Champions the Chiefs kick off their Super Rugby title defence in Dunedin against the Highlanders at the Forsyth Barr Stadium

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick off.


Steve Walsh blows his whistle to start the match. He is wearing a lovely pink outfit. Seriously. Gareth Anscombe kicks off and we are underway.


2.00: The Chiefs start well and work the ball into the Highlanders half. They knock on so the Highlanders have a scrum which they win and Lima Sopoaga kicks for territory.


3.00: Penalty to the Chiefs. It is kickable and they will go for posts.


4.00: Gareth Anscombe takes the penalty and nails it. The Chiefs lead.


6.00; The Highlanders survive some early attack from the Chiefs but they turn it around and fight back. The Chiefs knock on so we have another scrum.


9.00: The Chiefs look slick and dangerous when they have the ball. They start their attack but a pass to Asaeli Tikoirotuma drifts forward and we have a scrum. They concede a penalty in the scrum (Pauliasi Manu,went to ground) so Lima Sopaga kicks for touch.


11.00: The Highlanders enjoy their best spell of play yet. They flirt with the tryline and the pressure pays off as they win a penalty and then take the quick tap. After a couple of phases Ben Smith rolls and twists through a tackle and scores!. TRY. Lima Sopoaga’s line made that try but Smith had great hands.


12.00: Lima Sopoaga adds the conversion and the Highlanders lead.


14.00: WOW. The Chiefs have a scrum and they win the bal and pass it to Tim Nanai-Williams who beats Nonu and races away leaving everyone in his dust and scores the Chiefs first TRY. Great pace.


15.00: Gareth Anscombe adds the conversion and the Chiefs lead again.


18.00: Tawera Kerr-Barlow is caught offside so the Highlanders have a penalty which they use to kick for touch and set up a line out. Bekhuis is beaten by Brodie Retalick and the Chiefs have the ball on attack.


20.00: Penalty to the Chiefs. Anscombe will kick for posts again.


21.00: Anscombe nails the penalty and extends the lead.


22.00: The Chiefs get the ball on attack and they slice through the Highlanders defence sucking in defenders one by one. Somehow the Highlanders defence scrambles and saves the try. The Chiefs are looking hot.


23.00; Penalty to the Chiefs. Anscombe lines up again and he nails it again.


26.00: The Highlanders are trying to get into the game. They work the ball into the Chiefs half and earn a scrum. They win the scrum and attack but they can’t get through the Chiefs defence.


27.00: After several phases the Highlanders get some space on the wing but the Chiefs push Kade Poki into touch.


29.00: The Chiefs are attacking again. They vary the attack and kick deep but the ball rolls behind the dead ball line and out. We go back to the half way line. Chiefs are looking good already folks.


30.00: Penalty to the Highlanders from a scrum for going to ground. The Highlanders will go for posts.


31.00: Lima Sopoaga takes the shot but it drifts wide.


33.00: Sam Kane falls awkwardly following a tackle from Aaron Smith and leaves the field for a concussion test. Tanerau Latimer comes on as replacement.


35.00: While the Chiefs look strong in most departments their scrum is struggling. They concede another penalty for wheeling so the Highlanders have a chance to attack.


37.00: The Chiefs win a scrum in their 22 and Kerr Barlow clears the ball but the pressure forced him to take it quick and he fails to make much ground.  The Highlanders win the scrum and attack.


38.00: The Highlanders look to be up against a wall of defence and suddenly Hosea Gear shoves off a Chiefs defender or three and finds he is open and runs on to score. TRY!


39.00: Lima Sopoaga takes the conversion as Sam Kane comes back on after passing the concussion test. Nasi Manu is off though. Sopoaga nails the conversion.


40.00: The siren sounds for half time. It is half time.


The half time score was Highlanders 14 Chiefs 16 


The Highlanders kick off and the second half is underway.


42.00: The Highlanders make almost the perfect start. They work the ball up to the tryline and Nonu has a go at the line. The Chiefs defend the line but they concede a penalty.


43.00:  Lima Sopoaga takes the penalty kick and nails it.The Highlanders lead by one. Nasi Manu is however off the field due to an injury.


45.00: The Chiefs fire straight back. They get the ball to the 5m line and go through the phases. They pile on the pressure and stretch the Highlanders and Patrick Osborne slips over the line in the corner. TRY! This IS Super Rugby.


47.00: Gareth Anscombe takes the conversion kick from the touchline and misses his first shot at the posts.


48.00: WOW! The Highlanders strike back, they get the ball and Kade Poki slices through the Chiefs using a hand off to propel him forward and scores. TRY!


49.00: Sopoaga converts and the Highlanders lead.


51.00: Penalty to the Highlanders. It’s near the half way line so the kick for touch. The line out is about 30m out.


53.00 : The Highlanders are holding on to the ball much more this half. They go through 13 phases and then the Chiefs turn the ball over but they concede a free kick. We have a scrum for the Highlanders in the Chiefs half in front of the posts.


55.00: The Highlanders are playing much better this half. They are holding on to the ball and being much more patient. They get the ball to the 5m line and the Chiefs go in at the side and concede a penalty. The Highlanders will kick for posts as  Jarrad Hoeata gets some attention. Sopoaga nails the penalty.


57.00: The Highlanders are very much in charge of the match at this stage. They drive forward and win a free kick. You can sense that they feel they have the momentum.


59.00: The Highlanders concede a penalty and the Chiefs take the quick tap. They go through the phases and make steady ground with sustained pressure. It pays off and Asaeli Tikoirotuma slices through and scores. TRY! Thats how dangerous the Chiefs are with the ball.


60.00: Anscombe nails the conversion and the Chiefs are back in front.


62.00: The Chiefs head are up now folks. They are responding. Lima Masaga makes a break and makes ground. The Highlanders however turn the ball over and Ben Smith breaks, he passes to Hosea Gear who makes more ground. They go through the phases and change sides and continue the attack until the Chiefs turn the ball over.


64.00: This game is a thrill a minute. It’s end to end stuff as both teams make exhiliarating breaks. What a period of play. The Chiefs get the ball and Tim Nanai Williams picks up the ball from a loose pass and races away to score his second and the Chiefs bonus point TRY!


65.00: Gareth Anscombe nails the conversion as Toby Smith leave the field for a blood bin.


68.00: Fumiaki Tanaka has come on for Aaron Smith. The Chiefs win a penalty so Anscombe signals they will go for posts.


69.00: Anscombe takes the kick from over 50m out. He nails it. The Highlanders have to score twice now.


72.00: Penalty to the Chiefs. Anscombe will take the shot and put the match seemingly beyond the Highlanders. He nails it. Chiefs lead by 14.


77.00: The Chiefs are winding the clock down as the Highlanders try to make something out of nothing.


80.04; The siren goes. Anscombe kicks the ball into touch and the Chiefs have won.


The full time score is Highlanders 27 (14) Chiefs 41 (16)


Tries – B. Smith, H Gear , K Poki
Pen –  L. Sopoaga 2
Con – L. Sopoaga 3 
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – T.Nanai-Williams 2, P Osborne, A Tikoirotuma 
Pen – G. Anscombe 5
Con – G Anscombe 3
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
: Steve Walsh
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Kane McBride
TMO : Vinny Munro



1. Tony Woodcock , 2. Brayden Mitchell , 3. Ma’afu Fia , 4. Jarrad Hoeata (vc) , 5. Josh Bekhuis , 6. Joe Wheeler , 7. John Hardie , 8. Nasi Manu , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Hosea Gear (c) , 12. Ma’a Nonu , 13. Phil Burleigh , 14. Kade Poki , 15. Ben Smith

Replacements :16. Liam Coltman , 17. Bronson Murray , 18. Elliot Dixon , 19. Tim Boys , 20. Fumiaki Tanaka , 21. Hayden Parker , 22. Buxton Popoalii


1. Pauliasi Manu, 2. Hika Elliot, 3. Ben Afeaki, 4. Craig Clarke (c) , 5. Brodie Retallick, 6. Liam Messam, 7. Sam Cane, 8. Fritz Lee, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12. Bundee Aki, 13. Tim Nanai-Williams, 14. Patrick Osborne , 15. Gareth Anscombe

16. Rhys Marshall, 17. Ben Tameifuna, 18. Michael Fitzgerald, 19. Tanerau Latimer, 20. Augustine Pulu, 21. Charlie Ngatai, 22. Lelia Masaga

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