Highlanders

Highlanders get battered by Blues

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This was a live match report.

 

Not only are they from different islands, in New Zealand, but their styles so far this season are also poles apart. They face each other in a game in which the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy will be on offer.

 

The Highlanders have already seen how they benefit from having Nick Evans back as he put them into the lead after only a few minutes.

 

He then put them further ahead with another penalty.

 

The Blues came back with a penalty and after 20 minutes the Blues trail the Highlanders by 3 points to 6.

 

In the 22nd  minute Evans missed a penalty that would have put them 6 points ahead.

 

McAlistaer sent the Blues racing down the field towards the Highlanders tryline and Howlett chased but David Gibson knocked on. A scrum was awarded and the Blues gave away a penalty that if reversed would have surely drawn them level.

 

The Blues have been attacking but the Highlanders defence has been strong and there has been no change in score for the last 15 minutes.

 

Even though there has been no shortage of action in the 1st half, there has been a shortage of tries and the Highlanders still lead the Blues at half time with all the points coming from penalties.

 

At half time the Highlanders lost Craig Clare with a suspected broken ankle and he was replaced by James Wilson who was the only change for both teams.

 

The Blues came out of the changerooms on fire and within minutes they had scored the first try of the game. McAlister missed the kick.

 

Nick Evans put the Highlanders back into the lead with a penalty but the lead didn’t last long as McAlister struck a long penalty to put the Blues in front.

 

The Blues are attacking well but the Highlanders are putting in a huge defensive effort. The pressure pays off a little as Luke McAlister slots another penalty to put the Blues 5 points ahead with 20 minutes to go.

 

Ben Atiga looked to have been pushed over for the try but referee Steve Walsh said that he was held up so a scrum was awarded. After a reset the ball went out to Isaia Toeava who just gets downward pressure on the ball as he slides over the line just missing the posts.

 

McAlister gets the conversion.

 

So far the Blues have had 70 % of the territory which shows how the Highlanders have spent the afternoon defending.

 

The Blues continue to hammer away as they have done all night and this time it’s the captain Troy Flavell who scores the try. McAlister again converts.

 

The Blues looked determined to score the fourth try for the bonus point in the closing minutes but failed to get the fourth try.

 

Full report to follow.

 

Full time score Blues 28 Highlanders 9

 

Scorers

 

Blues
Penalty -Luke McAlister (3).
Try – Isaia Toeava (2),Troy Flavell
Conversion – McAlister (2)

Highlanders
Penalties -Nick Evans (3).

 

 

Teams:

Blues: 15 Ben Atiga, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Isaia Toeava, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Isa Nacewa, 9 David Gibson, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Angus Macdonald, 5 Troy Flavell (c), 4 Greg Rawlinson, 3 John Afoa, 2 Derren Witcombe, 1 Saimone Taumoepeau.
Replacements: 16 Sam Biddles, 17 Nick White, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Justin Collins, 20 Steve Devine, 21 Sam Tuitupou, 22 George Pisi.


Highlanders: 15 Glen Horton, 14 Lucky Mulipola, 13 Matthew Saunders, 12 Callum Bruce, 11 Craig Clare, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Craig Newby, 7 Alando Soakai, 6 Josh Blackie (c), 5 James Ryan, 4 Hoani MacDonald, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason MacDonald, 1 Clarke Dermody
Replacements: 16 David Hall, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Filipo Levi, 19 Hale T-Pole, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Aaron Bancroft, 22 James Wilson


Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand), Willie Roos (South Africa)
Television match official: Josh Noonan (New Zealand)
Assessor: Alan Riley (New Zealand), Dennis Immelman (South Africa)

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