Super rugby Trans Tasman

Highlanders beat Western Force in Perth

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The Highlanders have won their last three Super Rugby games against the Western Force, including a fixture-record 55-6 win in their last encounter (Round 13, 2017).

Each of the Western Force’s last four Super Rugby games on home turf has been decided by a margin of three points or fewer, with the Force picking up two wins and two losses in that term.

  • The Highlanders will be looking to log back-to-back Super Rugby wins for the first time since April 2019 after opening their 2021 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman campaign with a 40-19 win against the Queensland Reds last time out.
  • No team missed fewer tackles (13) or had a higher tackle success rate (92%) than the Highlanders in the opening round of the 2021 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman season.
  • Tomas Cubelli is playing his 50th Super Rugby game and his fourth against the Landers, a team against whom he is yet to log a victory in the competition.
  • Aaron Smith is playing his 160th Super Rugby match.

Match detail

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1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at HBF Park in Perth, Western Australia.

3.00: Sitaleki Timani makes a break into the Highlanders’ 22. The Force recycles quickly, but the ball is slow, and the Landers manage to win the penalty at the breakdown.

5.00: A couple of penalties go against the Highlanders, one at the ruck, one for offsides. Jake McIntyre kicks to touch.

7.00: Kyle Godwin loses possession in contact, scrum to the visitors on their own 22.

10.00: Billy Harmon gets over the ball to win his side a penalty.

12.00: Richard Kahui intercepts Mitch Hunt’s stray pass, but the Force clear to their 10m.

13.00: TRY! Aaron Smith takes the lineout ball and slips Feleti Kaitu’u’s weak tackle. Smith races to the 22, draws Kahui before sending Jona Nareki under the posts. Stunning try from the first-phase ball. 0-5

14.00: CONVERSION! Hunt adds the extras. 0-7

15.00: Kahui is pinged for a deliberate knockdown of the ball.

17.00: Harmon loses possession in the tackle on the Force’s 22.

18.00: The Force clear from their 22, but the ball is taken back into the Force’s 22 from the scrum before Kearney cleared to touch.

20.00: Scrum to the Landers after Aaron Smith’s charged down kick is lost forward by Henry Taefu, who could not pick up the bouncing ball.

22.00: Jake McIntyre is down after taking a big hit on his head while trying to make a tackle, he did not pass that HIA. Domingo Miotti is on at flyhalf.

23.00: The Western force has conceded four of the last five penalties, the Landers kick to the corner.

23.00: TRY! The Kiwis power their way over the try line, Ayden Johnstone is the man who gets up with the ball in his hands. That’s two tries from a lineout for the visitors, tonight. 0-12

25.00: MISS! Hunt pushes his kick well wide. 0-12

27.00: Still problems in the scrums, they continue to be reset because the front rows keep collapsing.

28.00: Santiago Medrano wins the penalty after popping Johnstone in the scrum. Miotti calls for the tee.

29.00: PENALTY! Miotti puts his team on the board. 3-12

30.00: Nareki breaks into the Force’s 22, the ball is recycled quickly, but the Highlanders win a penalty after the hosts stray offside. Hunt will take a shot at goal.

32.00: PENALTY! Hunt makes no mistake from in front. 3-15

34.00: The Force have been decent with the ball in hand, but they need to turn possession into points or they might as well end the game. Australian teams need to score tries and defend well against New Zealand sides.

35.00: Offside by the Force, Hunt kicks deep into the Force’s 22.

36.00: TRY! Scott Gregory takes Aaron Smith’s deft pass and barges through Henry Taufu to score. The try came from another lineout/maul 3-20

38.00: MISS! Hunt’s kick shaves the outside of the post. 3-20

39.00: TRY! Tomás Cubelli – in his 50th Super Rugby match – scores under the posts after Jordan Olowofela’s linebreak put Henry Taefu through a gap. 8-20

40.00: CONVERSION! Miotti can’t miss it. 10-20

41.00: Aaron Smith clears to touch.

The halftime score was Western Force 10 Highlanders 20

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Perth, Australia.

43.00; The Highlanders miss out on a good early chance since the break.

46.00: The Rebels manage to win possession and kick-start a counter-attack that ends with Tim Anstee dropping the ball in touch.

49.00: Miotti kicks to the corner.

52.00: The Landers win a turnover penalty to clear their lines.

55.00: The Force have been the better team since the break, they just can’t score.

58.00: The visitors are enjoying some possession, they are slowing down the tempo as they put some phases together in search of some points.

60.00: YELLOW CARD! Greg Holmes is off for a stray arm to Tim Anstee’s head. 10-20

62.00: TRY! Gregory scores his second after a neat pass by Hunt. 10-25

63.00: MISS! Hunt misses again. 10-25

65.00: A mix-up between the reserve props leads to a scrum to the Force.

69.00: NO TRY! A mistake by the referee – who apologises to the Landers for a wrong forward pass call – chalks off Josh Ioane’s try. That was poor by the ref, who jumped the gun and cost the Kiwis seven points. 10-25

72.00: NO TRY! Kazuki Himeno thinks he’s scored, but the ref has other ideas. the No 8 did not release after the tackle, and was rightfully blown up. 10-25

75.00: Two quick penalties see the Force go from their line into the opposition’s half.

77.00: It’s all Force at the minute, the Landers have switched off.

79.00: TRY! Angus Wagner crashes over at the death. 15-25

80.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 15-25

FULL TIME

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The final score is Western Force 15 (10) Highlanders 25 (20)

Scorers

Western Force
Tries – Cubelli, Wagner
Pen – Miotti
Con – Miotti
Drop –
Cards – Holmes (Yellow, 59′)

Highlanders
Tries – Nareki, Johnstone, Gregory (2)
Pen – Hunt
Con – Hunt
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Amy Perrett
Assistant Ref 2: Reuben Keane
TMO: James Leckie

Teams

Western Force

15 Rob Kearney, 14 Richard Kahui, 13 Kyle Godwin (captain), 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Tim Anstee, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Ryan McCauley, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Tom Robertson

Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Angus Wagner, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ollie Callan, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Jake Strachan

Highlanders

15 Sam Gilbert, 14 Sio Tomkinson, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Scott Gregory, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (co-captain), 8 Hugh Renton, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 1 Ayden Johnstone

Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Ethan de Groot, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Kazuki Himeno, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Ngantungane Puniva

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