Super Rugby

Brumbies beat Highlanders in Melbourne




The Highlanders have won their last six Super Rugby games against the Brumbies, twice as many as they had won in their 11 meetings prior (W3, L8); their last defeat to the Aussies came in Round 11, 2015 (31-18).

The Highlanders have lost eight of their last nine Super Rugby games (W1), including a single-point loss to the Hurricanes in their last game (22-21 – Round 9, 2022 Super Rugby Pacific).

  • Four of the last five Landers’ defeats in the competition have come by a margin of seven points or fewer.
  • The Highlanders have won their last five consecutive Super Rugby games against teams from Australia by an average margin of 21 points per game; their last game against an Australian outfit was a 33-12 win over the Brumbies in Round 5 of the 2021 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition.
  • The Brumbies have won only five of their last 26 Super Rugby games against New Zealand opposition (L21), and have failed to score 20 points in any of their last four such fixtures (W1, L3).
  • The Highlanders have run for just 654 metres in the opening 20 minutes of games this Super Rugby Pacific season, the second-fewest of any team in the competition behind only Moana Pasifika (638).
  • The Brumbies have made 12 line breaks within the opening 20 minutes of games this season, the most of any team in the competition, and four more than the Highlanders (8).
  • The Brumbies have won eight turnovers per game this Super Rugby Pacific season, the most of any team in the competition, and two per game more than the Highlanders (6).

Players to watch

  • Andrew Makalio has crossed for a try in each of his last three Super Rugby appearances despite playing 50 minutes or more in only one of those games.
  • Tom Wright has scored five tries in his last five Super Rugby appearances; although, he is yet to score from two previous games against the Highlanders in Super Rugby.
  • Nick Frost has stolen six lineouts this season, the most of any player in SR; in fact, his total of 41 lineout wins is the most of any player.

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 at AAMI Park, Melbourne.

2.00: NO TRY! Tom Wright, with no one in front of him, drops the ball as he tried to dot it down over the line – that is terrible from the fullback. 0-0

3.00: Highlanders win a penalty at the next breakdown, and can clear.

5.00: James Lentjes intercepts Noah Lolesio’s inside pass to save the Kiwis.

8.00: It’s all Brumbies at the moment, but they have not managed to score; they should have at least two tries.

10.00: Freedom Vahakolo gets penalised for a deliberate knockdown, and Lolesio kicks to the corner.

11.00: TRY! Jahrome Brown crashes over two defenders after running around the ruck and reaching out to score. 0-5

12.00: CONVERSION! Lolesio adds the extras. 0-7

15.00: The Highlanders have not had their hands on the ball; it’s all Brumbies, who should lead by more.

17.00: The Highlanders have not been able to get out of their half, the Brumbies are camped inside the Kiws’ half.

18.00: The Landers, defending their lives, get a final warning for multiple infringements in their 22.

19.00: TRY! Lachlan Lonergan falls over the line after yet another powerful driving maul from the Brumbies’ forwards. 0-12

21.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 0-14

22.00: NO TRY! Nic white’s try is chalked off for a knock-on by the halfback before he gathered to score. 0-14

25.00: Tony Brown’s men cannot get out of their 22, Dan McKellar’s side is all over the Otago franchise.

29.00: Highlanders are beginning to get their hands on the ball a bit more, but struggling to put the Aussies under pressure for minimal periods.

32.00: Samu runs into Ikitau, and the Landers get a reprieve, yet another in this one-sided half.

34.00: The Brumbies are caught offside, Marty Banks goes to the corner.

35.00: It took more than 35 minutes for the Highlanders to enter the Brumbies’ 22.

36.00: TRY! Thomas Umaga-Jensen breaks through Nic White and Pete Samu’s tackles to get the Highlanders on the board. 5-14

37.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 7-14

39.00: The Brumbies need a score, or not to concede at the death, because they have been rampant, and only lead by seven.

41.00: Brown’s men defend a lineout on their 22 thanks to some good defending; however, they give away a penalty after the hooter.

42.00: PENALTY! Lolesio chips over the late penalty. 7-17

The halftime score was Highlanders 7 Brumbies 17

41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway down under.

44.00: PENALTY! Lolesio adds an early goal. 7-20

47.00: The Landers have started as they ended the first half, and look dangerous.

49.00: TRY! James Lentjes takes Folau Fakatava’s deft offload, and barges through a couple of defenders to score. 12-20

50.00: CONVERSION! Banks converts. 14-20

54.00: The Brumbies have managed to halt the early Highlanders’ momentum, especially after Lentjes’ score.

57.00: The ACT pack wins a penalty after a solid scrum.

58.00: PENALTY! Lolesio, from an angle, splits the uprights. 14-23

62.00: A patient build-up by the Kiwis ends with a forward pass killing another promising attack.

64.00: Superb work at the breakdown by Evans to win the Landers a penalty.

66.00: Josh Hohneck gathers Rob Valetini’s knock-on, and boots the ball down the field for a 50/22 – WOW!

67.00: Highlanders win a kickable penalty in front of the poles.

68.00: PENALTY! Banks cannot miss. 17-23

70.00: NO TRY! Sam Gilbert chases Umaga-Jensen’s grubber, and beats Andy Muirhead to the bouncing ball to dot down in the corner, but the TMO review showed Gilbert did not have control of the ball. 17-23

72.00: TRY! A quick-fire attack sees Irae Simone’s linebreak and offload, sent Lolesio away in the corner. 17-28

74.00: MISS! Lolesio cannot convert from wide. 17-28

77.00: Highlanders kick to the corner, and go to their maul.

78.00: Highlanders throw everything at the ACT side, but the Dunedin men are kept out.

80.00: Valetini’s break sets up Brumbies’ ball outside their 22. They slow the ball down, before booting out for a rare win against New Zealand opposition.


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The final score is Highlanders 17 (7) Brumbies 28 (17)


Tries – T. Umaga-Jensen, Lentjes
Pen – Banks
Con – Banks (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Brown, L. Lonergan, Lolesio
Pen – Lolesio (3)
Con – Lolesio (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 2: Reuben Keane
TMO: James Leckie


Highlanders: 15 Mitch Hunt, 14 Freedom Vahakolo, 13 Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 12 Scott Gregory, 11 Mosese Dawai, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Folau Fakatava, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 James Lentjes (captain), 6 Hugh Renton, 5 Sam Caird, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ethan de Groot.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Makailo, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Max Hicks, 20 Billy Harmon, 21 Kayne Hemmington, 22 Sam Gilbert, 23 Christian Lio Willie.

Brumbies: 15 Tom Wright, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White (captain), 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Caderyn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Sefo Kautai, 2 Lachlan Lonergan, 1 Scott Sio.

Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Tom Hooper, 20 Luke Reimer, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Rod Iona, 23 Hudson Creighton.

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