Super Rugby

Crusaders beat Highlanders in Dunedin




The Highlanders defeated the Crusaders 33-12 in their most recent Super Rugby meeting (April 2021), snapping a seven-match losing run; they will be aiming for back-to-back wins against the Crusaders for the first time since May 2016.

The Crusaders have won six of their last eight completed away games against the Highlanders in Super Rugby (L2), including their last two on the bounce; they’ve have come back to win after trailing at half-time three times in that span.

  • The Saders have won 11 of their last 12 completed Super Rugby away games (L1), including their last three in succession; although, that one defeat did come in their most recent match on the road against a fellow New Zealand team (26-25 v Chiefs in April 2021).
  • The Highlanders opened their 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign with a 10-point defeat to the Chiefs (26-16) and will be looking to avoid opening a Super Rugby campaign with back-to-back defeats for the first time since 2017.
  • The Landers (8,959) are 41 points shy of reaching 9,000 points scored in Super Rugby competitions; they have reached that mark in a game on 32 occasions in Super Rugby history including twice in 2021, although their most points in a game against the Crusaders is 37 in Round 7, 1997.
  • The Crusaders (175) and Highlanders (144) made more tackles than any other teams throughout the opening round of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific competition (also Brumbies – 144).
  • The Crusaders retained possession on seven kicks in play in the opening round of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign, more than any other team; only the Melbourne Rebels (1) retained kicks fewer times than the Highlanders (2).
  • Leicester Fainga’anuku made dominant contact on six carries – the joint-most of any player – and crossed the gainline on 11 carries – the second-most of any player – in the opening round of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific competition.
  • Will Jordan gained 139 metres in the opening round of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season, the most of any player; it’s the third time in his last four games that he’s made 100 + metres having also scored a total of four tries across that period.
  • Fainga’anuku scored three tries in Round 1 of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season and has now scored five tries in his last four Super Rugby games; however, he is yet to score a try from five previous games against the Highlanders.

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 Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

3.00: Highlanders win a penalty, the second against Cullen Grace.

5.00: PENALTY! Mitchell Hunt opens the scoring. 3-0

8.00: Lots of early handling errors and some ill discipline by the Crusaders, is putting the visitors under pressure.

9.00: TRY! From a touchline scrum, Sam Gilbert comes in from his wing, ghosts through the Crusaders midfield, and scores under the posts. 8-0

10.00: CONVERSION! Hunt adds the extras. 10-0

13.00: Referee Mike Fraser calls Scott Barrett for a chat; the Saders have conceded 5 penalties so far. Hunt will kick at goal.

14.00: PENALTY! Hunt makes no mistake. 13-0

16.00: TRY! Sevu Reece takes a quick tap, and barges over from close range. 13-5

17.00: CONVERSION! Burke adds the extras. 13-7

20.00: The visitors go through a dozen phases as they camp inside the Landers’ 22.

22.00: The ball bounces into touch as Reece could not gather.

24.00: More sustained pressure by Crusaders allows Burke a shot at goal from in front.

25.00: MISS! Burke pulls his kick wide. 13-7

29.00: TRY! Reece has a second after a well executed backline move involving David Havili, Braydon Ennor, Will Jordan and Reece. 13-12

30.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 13-14

34.00: Hunt almost gets over in the corner, but the defence snuffs out the attack.

38.00: PENALTY! Hunt puts Tony Brown’s men ahead again. 16-14

40.00: A kicking battle ensues as both teams search for one last chance at points.

41.00: Highlanders stray offsides.

42.00: PENALTY! Burke puts the visitors ahead at the break. 16-17

The halftime score was Highlanders 16 Crusaders 17

41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway in New Zealand.

43.00: A lot of kicking since the restart as both teams try assert themselves.

46.00: PENALTY! Hunt slots a difficult wide penalty from distance. 19-17

50.00: Aaron Smith’s turnover keeps the Crusaders out of the red zone.

52.00: A couple of changes being made in the front rows.

53.00: PENALTY! Burke knocks over the goal. 19-20

5600: Brown’s men go 17 phases as they search for the score.

57.00: HELD UP: Hunt is short of the line before being held up as he tried to score. 19-20

60.00: It’s pretty even in this derby, but Landers might have the edge.

64.00: Crusaders win the scrum after defending on their line.

66.00: TRY! A brilliant Leicester Fainga’anuku chicken-wing pass sucked in two defenders before George Bridge sent Jordan away under the posts. Bridge drew a defender, passed inside to Jordan, who slipped two tackles to score. 19-25

67.00: CONVERSION! Burke adds the two. 19-27

70.00: Saders beginning to grind down their hosts.

73.00: It’s all Crusaders now.

77.00: TRY! Tamaiti Williams crashes over next to the posts. 19-32

78.00: CONVERSION! Simon Hickey adds the two. 19-34

81.00: Havili puts the ball in the stands. Game over.


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The final score is Highlanders 19 (16) Crusaders 34 (17)


Tries – Gilbert
Pen – Hunt (4)
Con – Hunt
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Reece (2), Jordan, Williams
Pen – Burke (2)
Con – Burke (3), Hickey
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 2: Angus Mabey
TMO: Chris Hart



15 Connor Garden-Bachop, 14 Sam Gilbert, 13 Fetuli Paea, 12 Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 11 Josh Timu, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ethan de Groot

16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Bryn Evans, 20 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Hugh Renton


15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Fergus Burke, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Scott Barrett (captain), 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Oli Jager, 2 Brodie McAlister, 1 Joe Moody

16 Shilo Klein, 17 George Bower, 18Tamaiti Williams, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Corey Kellow, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 George Bridge

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