Super Rugby

Highlanders beat Chiefs in Hamilton




The Highlanders are undefeated in their last four Super Rugby games against the Chiefs (W3, D1), after losing each of their three meetings prior.

The Highlanders have won four of their last five Super Rugby away games against the Chiefs (L1), including each of their last two despite trailing at halftime on the day.

  • The Chiefs have lost their last nine Super Rugby games; indeed, it is the longest losing run in the club’s history.
  • The Highlanders missed the fewest tackles (17) of any team in Round 1 of Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021; in fact, they were the only team with a tally under 20 in this category.
  • Lachlan Boshier (Chiefs) was the first player to arrive at more rucks (102) than any other individual in the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

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

1.00: PEEEP! We are underway in New Zealand.

2.00: PENALTY! Damian McKenzie opens the scoring for the home team. 3-0

4.00: The visitors have a chance to level from distance.

5.00: MISS! Josh Ioane’s kick is just wide. 3-0

8.00: It’s all Highlanders at the moment, they’ve won three penalties and a penalty advantage inside the Chiefs’ half. Ioane calls for the tee.

10.00: PENALTY! No problem this time for Ioane. 3-3

13.00: There have been seven penalties inside the first quarter of an hour.

15.00: PENALTY! McKenzie doubles his team’s score. 6-3

17.00: Jona Nareki goes close, but the winger is tackled into touch.

19.00: Brad Weber breaks into the Highlanders 22, but he doesn’t have the legs to beat the cover defence; the Chiefs win the scrum though.

20.00: YELLOW CARD! Sio Tomkinson goes to the sin-bin for cynical play on his try line. 6-3

21.00: TRY! Luke Jacobson crashes over from close range for the game’s first try. 11-3

22.00: CONVERSION! McKenzie adds the extras. 13-3

25.00: PENALTY! Ioane adds another three points from in front. 13-6

28.00: The Chiefs look dangerous with ball-in-hand, their off-loading game is causing all manner of problems for the Highlanders.

29.00: TRY! McKenzie cruises under the posts after the Highlanders defence runs out of numbers. 18-6

30.00: CONVERSION! McKenzie converts his score. 20-6

32.00: YELLOW CARD! Ash Dixon goes to the naughty step. 20-6

33.00: TRY! Jona Nareki races 95 metres to score against the run of play after gathering Tomkinson’s charge-down of Bryn Gatland. 20-11

34.00: MISS! Ioane misses from almost in front. 20-11

37.00: This is a cracking game, the teams must keep the penalty count down though, especially the Highlanders, who have had two yellow cards already.

38.00: The visitors win a penalty near the halfway line, and call for the tee.

39.00: MISS! Ioane’s kick falls short of the posts again. 20-11

42.00: Both teams trying to keep the ball alive after the hooter, looking for some late points to take into the shed.

43.00: The Highlanders go 12 phases before conceding a penalty; however, nothing comes of the attack.

The halftime score was Chiefs 20 Highlanders 11

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Hamilton, New Zealand.

44.00: The Chiefs have started the second stanza by trying to run the ball in the wide channels, but Shannon Frizell’s brute strength wins the Landers a reprieve at the breakdown. Ioane boots to the 22.

46.00: The Highlanders win a penalty near the Chiefs’ try-line — Mitch Hunt kicks to the corner.

48.00: Another penalty goes the way of the visitors. Hunt kicks to the corner. The Highlanders have kicked to the corner nine times this season, and have never scored.

50.00: TRY! Folau Fakatava darts over from close range after a nine-phase attack off the last driving maul. 20-16

51.00: CONVERSION! Ioane slots the easy kick. 20-18

53.00: TRY! Frizell finishes off a sensational score after Nareki’s stunning run from deep inside the Highlanders’ half. The winger beat off several defenders, bouncing Sam Cane after running through a gap. The defenders slipped off the big unit before he offloaded to the flanker. What a turnaround. 20-23

54.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 20-25

57.00: TRY! It’s a stunning turnaround in Hamilton, Nareki is running riot, scoring his second try of the evening. 20-30

58.00: CONVERSION! Ioane lands his third conversion of the night. 20-32

62.00: It’s all Chiefs at the minute. They are trying to get back in this game.

65.00: PENALTY! McKenzie reduces the deficit. 23-32

70.00: TRY! HAT-TRICK for Nareki! This time the winger beats the cover defenders before diving to the corner flag to score. 23-37

71.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 23-39

75.00: Nareki goes close again, then he almost sets up another score. He is sensational.

78.00: Mitchell Brown is lucky he did not get a yellow for a leading elbow.

81.00: The Highlanders run down the clock before Aaron Smith boots the ball into the stands. That’s 10 defeats in a row for the Chiefs. Ouch!


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The final score is Chiefs 23 (20) Highlanders 39 (11)


Tries – Jacobson, McKenzie
Pen – McKenzie (3)
Con – McKenzie (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Nareki (3), Fakatava, Frizell
Pen – J. Ioane (2)
Con – J. Ioane (4)
Drop –
Cards – Tomkinson (Yellow, 20′), Dixon (Yellow, 32′)

Match Officials
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: James Doleman
TMO: Brendon Pickerill



15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Jonah Lowe, 13 Sean Wainui, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Brad Weber (co-c), 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Sam Cane (co-c), 6 Samipeni Finau, 5 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Reuben O’Neill

Replacements: 16 Bradley Slater, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Mitchell Brown, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Xavier Roe, 22 Alex Nankivell, 23 Shaun Stevenson


15 Mitch Hunt, 14 Connor Garden-Bachop, 13 Ngantungane Punivai, 12 Sio Tomkinson, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Folau Fakatava, 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Jack Regan, 4 Josh Dickson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown

Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Aaron Smith (co-captain), 22 Solomon Alaimalo, 23 Hugh Renton

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