Highlanders pipped at the death by drop goal


Super Rugby Quick Links : Home | News | Fixtures | Super Rugby Betting | Standings |

This was a live match report.


So this is it. The Super 14 in 2009 kicks off with the Highlanders hosting the Brumbies at Dunedin.


I want to know who’s idea it was to start a tournament on Friday the 13th ! Anyway back to the match.



The Brumbies have won seven out of thirteen clashes against the Highlanders but importantly they have only won once in Dunedin. They also don’t travel well in New Zealand having won 14 of their 35 matches on New Zealand soil since Super Rugby began back in 1996.

Last five results

2008: Brumbies won 22-20 in Canberra
2007: Brumbies won 29-10 in Dunedin
2006: Highlanders won 28-26 in Canberra
2005: Highlanders won 19-18, in Dunedin
2004: Brumbies won 50-18 in Canberra

Head to Head: Played 13 – Brumbies 7, Highlanders 6
Last year: Brumbies 22, Highlanders 20 at Canberra


Match detail


We are waiting for the kick off.


The teams are on the field. There is a moment of silence for the victims of the Australian Bushfires. Referee Matt Goddard has pulled out of the match with an injury so James Leckie has filled in as replacement.


0.01: The match is underway.


1.40 : The Brumbies kick off and the opening sequence starts with a bang as the ball is kept in play by both teams for 1 minute and 40 seconds and then we have the first scrum.


3.46: The first line out is thrown in by the Highlanders but gets lost so we have a scrum.


5.20: Brumbies take a short line out but the Highlanders poach it and go on the attack.


6.00: Johnny Leota makes a break through the Brumbies defence he swings the ball out wide and they pass it back in and Jason Shoemark is there to score the first try of the Super14 in 2009.


7.00:  Daniel Bowden converts the first try.


11.00: Jimmy Cowan takes a quick tap and it catches the Brumbies off guard – he passes to the flying Fetu’u Vainikolo who runs in a second try for the Highlanders.


11.35: Daniel Bowden misses the conversion.


15.00:  A better bit of play from the Brumbies as they work through the phases but as they get within 5m they give away a free kick.


16.00: Concern for the Highlanders as Captain Jimmy Cowan leaves the field holding his arm. That could be a big blow. Sean Romans comes on for Cowan.


17.00 : Pressure from the Highlanders but Christian Lealiifano puts in a big kick and clears relieving pressure from the Brumbies.


18.00: OUCH, This is becoming painful for the Brumbies as Daniel Bowden chips up and gets a great bounce and runs in the Highlanders third try.


19.00: Daniel Bowden converts his own try. Word from the bench is that Jimmy Cowan has an upper arm injury perhaps a torn bicep.


22.00 The Brumbies get a penalty but they choose to go for the line and not the points. The Highlanders defence holds strong.


24.00: The Highlanders have to be commended for their defence as the Brumbies continue to apply pressure.


25.00: The Brumbies finally get on the board as Stirling Mortlock powers over for his 50th super Rugby try.


26.00: Mark Gerrard converts the try which is his 34th conversion.


30.00: A second injury for the Highlanders as they lose another All Black in Jamie Mackintosh. Jason Shoemark takes over the captaincy.


34.00 : Clyde Rathbone has a short run, looks dangerous but he is quickly caught and loses the ball in the tackle.


37.00: The Brumbies have enjoyed 77% territory in the first half which shows how strong the Highlanders defence has been.


38.00: The Brumbies win a penalty so they go for posts. Mark Gerrard slots it to cut the gap to 9.


39.00: Half time looks like it can’t come soon enough for the Highlanders as they look tired after all that defending.


40.01 : The half time siren sounds.


The half time score was Highlanders 19  Brumbies 10


41.00: The second half gets underway and the Brumbies start off with pace and power as Stirling Mortlock scores his second try of the match as he takes three tacklers over the line with him. The try is checked upstairs and gets the all clear.


42.00: Mark Gerrard misses the conversion.


46.00: The Brumbies are coming back into this in a big way. They pick up a penalty and Mark Gerrard takes the kick and slots it cut the gap to 1 point. That’s 18 unanswered points.


47.00: The Brumbies snatch the lead for the first time as Christian Lealiifano sets up Adam Ashley-Cooper who flys off leaving three Highlanders in his dust to score the Brumbies third try.


48.00: Mark Gerrard converts the try and the Brumbies have scored 25 unanswered points.


51.00: Brumbies get a penalty at the half way line.Stirling Mortlock puts in a beauty of a pass to Mark Gerrard who runs in the Brumbies bonus point try.


53.00: Mark Gerrard misses the conversion.


59.00: Jayden Hayward comes on for Johnny Leota – could be another injury for the Highlanders.


64.00: The Highlanders finally get some ball in the second half and it pays off. They work the ball up to the Brumbies line and win a scrum 5m out. Hayden Triggs charges for the line but the Brumbies defence strong even though they a free kick away. Highlanders go for another scrum.


65.00: They swing the ball wide but the ball gets knocked on before they got the overlap.


 68.00: Sustained pressure from the Highlanders keeps them well in the Brumbies half but the visitors defence holds strong.


71.00: The Highlanders get some wide ball and work it up to the line so we go upstairs.  The first TV pictures shows the ball looking short. A second shot shows the ball being grounded on the line by Chris King – Bonus point Try scored.


72.00 Daniel Bowden slots the conversion.


75.00: The Tide has definately turned and it’s all the Highlanders. The Brumbies defence scrambles but they give away a penalty.


76.00: From the lineout they win the ball and the forwards have another crack at the line. They get the try !Jason Rutledge comes up with the ball – is that a matchwinner ?


78.00: Daniel Bowden’s conversion hits the post and bounces out.


79.00: The Brumbies work the ball to the middle of the field and set up the drop goal. Christian Lealiifano hits the ball true and its there. Brumbies back in front.


80.22: The Highlanders get a free kick so they have to keep the ball in play. The Brumbies steal the ball at the ruck and kick the ball out to win the match.


Report to follow.


Full time Score is Highlanders 31  Brumbies 33




Tries -Jason Shoemark, Fetu’u Vainikolo, Daniel Bowden, Chris King, Jason Rutledge
Penalties –
Conversions – Daniel Bowden 3
Drop Goals –


Tries  -Stirling Mortlock 2, Adam Ashley-Cooper,Mark Gerrard
Penalties – Mark Gerrard 2
Conversions -Mark Gerrard 2
Drop Goals  -Christian Lealiifano


Match – Highlanders v Brumbies
Venue – Dunedin
Time pm – 19.35
Referee – James Leckie
Ass Ref. – 1 V Munro (NZ)
Ass Ref. – 2 K Brown(NZ)
TMO – S McDermot (NZ)
Performance Reviewer – G Wahlstrom



Highlanders: Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Jason Shoemark, Johnny Leota, Fetu’u Vainikolo, Daniel Bowden, Jimmy Cowan (capt), Steven Setephano, Alando Soakai, Adam Thomson, Hayden Triggs, Josh Bekhuis, Clint Newland, David Hall, Jamie Mackintosh.


Reps: Jason Rutledge, Chris King, George Naoupu, Tim Boys, Sean Romans, Jayden Hayward/Brett Mather, Kenny Lynn.


Brumbies: Mark Gerrard, Clyde Rathbone, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Stirling Mortlock, Francis Fainifo, Christian Lealiifano, Patrick Phibbs, Stephen Hoiles (capt), George Smith, Julian Salvi, Mark Chisholm, Ben Hand, Guy Shepherdson, Stephen Moore, Nic Henderson.


Reps: John Ulugia, Ben Alexander, Sitaleki Timani, Peter Kimlin, Josh Holmes, Tyrone Smith, Matt Toomua.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.