Super Rugby

Crusaders beat Highlanders in Dunedin




The Highlanders have played the Crusaders 38 times in Super Rugby since 1996; the Highlanders have won 11 matches, lost 26 times and drawn once.

The Dunedin-based Highlanders’ 11 wins give them a record of winning 29% of their matches against the Crusaders regardless of venue.

  • The Crusaders have won seven of their last eight completed Super Rugby matches against the Highlanders (L1), including their last four on the bounce across which they have scored 40 points per game.
  • The Highlanders have won two of their last three completed Super Rugby matches against the Saders as hosts on the day (L1), including their most recent meeting in Round 5, 2018 – they haven’t enjoyed back-to-back wins in such fixtures since 1997-1999.
  • Scott Robertson’s men have won 11 of their last 12 Super Rugby matches (L1), conceding 7.2 first-half points per game in that stretch.
  • The Landers (27/28 –96.4%) are the only team in Super Rugby Aotearoa with a lineout success rate above 90%; however, no team has won fewer on their throw than the Crusaders (23).
  • Crusaders’ pair Jack Goodhue (22/22) and Whetu Douglas (19/19) have made the most and second most tackles respectively of all players yet to miss a single attempt in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin for this highly anticipated southern derby. It’s been 840 days since the Crusaders last played in Dunedin.

2.00: The Crusaders get the first scrum; the Highlanders win the turnover but lose possession with a knock-on.

4.00: Daniel Lienert-Brown finds himself on the wrong side of the ruck after making the tackle and is pinged for it. Lienert-Brown is down, he looks like his back is out.

5.00: The Saders backs are playing flat and fast. There was space on the outside, but the Landers compress defence smothers the visitors and David Havili knock-on under pressure.

7.00: Crusaders win a penalty and boot the ball to the Landers’ 22.

9.00: An 11-phase attack ends when Dillon Hunt jumps offside giving the Crusaders a chance at goal. Aaron Mauger’s men will be relieved with the result of only conceding three.

10.00: PENALTY! Richie Mo’unga opens the scoring. 0-3

13.00: Lienert-Brown collapses the scrum; it was a huge scrum from Michael Alaalatoa and the Crusaders’ front row. The Highlanders are struggling with the penalty count (4-0).

14.00: Mauger’s team get out of jail as the Saders lose their lineout.

15.00: TRY! The Crusaders win back possession and attack the goal-line with a nine-phase barrage. The ball is recycled quickly throughout before the visitors send the ball wide, through the hands to Will Jordan, who dives over in the corner for another try. 0-8

17.00: MISS! Mo’unga pulls his kick just past the left-hand post. 0-8

17.00: The game is called to a halt as the medics come onto the field with the stretcher for Josh Dickson, who is down on the floor. Jack Whetton is warming up to replace the lock.

18.00: The Crusaders are struggling with the Highlanders kicking game. The hosts have another attacking scrum inside the opposition’s half. They win a free-kick and go quickly.

19.00: TRY! The hosts go through their first sustained period of attack, stringing 13 phases before Shannon Frizell crashes over thanks to the support of several team-mates helping him over. The TMO confirms the on-field call by referee Mike Fraser. 5-8

20.00: CONVERSION! Mitch Hunt adds the extras. 7-8

22.00: The Crusaders go close after Jordan’s kick-behind, but the ball beats the attackers into touch. This game is really heating up. The Highlanders only had 25% possession and territory, but they are fighting back into this game.

25.00: TRY! Aaron smith breaks into the Saders’ 22 after a scrappy lineout by the visitors. Smith waits for support, finds it in Sio Tompkinson. The ball is sent quickly out to the wing via Rob Thompson and Ngane Punivai scores in the corner. 12-8

26.00: CONVERSION! Hunt lands the wide conversion. 14-8

29.00: The Crusaders go another double-digit phase attack before winning a penalty.

31.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga cuts the gap from in front. 14-11

33.00: Oh, dear! Mo’unga knocks on with the line at his mercy. The Crusaders get the penalty, which is lucky because there was a forward pass in the build-up. Mo’unga calls for the tee.

35.00: PENALTY! The kick is from point-blank range and good. 14-14

37.00: The Landers is on the wrong side of the penalty count here, it’s 9-1.

39.00: The Highlanders win a rare penalty and will take a shot at goal from in front on the 22.

41.00: PENALTY! Hunt’s kick is good. 17-14

The halftime score was Highlanders 17 Crusaders 14

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Dunedin.

42.00: The home team wins the first penalty after the break. Hunt boots his team to safety.

44.00: The Crusaders are getting smothered by the press defence and are reverting to little kicks behind the Highlanders.

45.00: The Saders are attacking with another lung-sapping attack, which has gone 14 phases.

47.00: Liam Coltman wins the turnover and saves his team. Joe Moody goes offsides and the hosts get a breather as the ref’s arm points diagonally to the sky.

50.00: TRY! Another relentless attack ends with Tom Christie driving his way through two defenders to finish off another sustained attack. The Highlanders are lucky as they would have conceded a penalty try and a yellow card for foul play in the build-up by Pari Pari Parkinson who held back Braydon Ennor. 17-19

51.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga lands the sideline kick. 17-21

54.00: A 17-phase attack ends with a Highlanders penalty. Jona Nareki cost his team a certain try by not passing; instead, he was hit with ball-in-hand and lost possession. Hunt calls for the tee.

55.00: PENALTY! Hunt makes it a one-point ball-game. 20-21

58.00: Crusaders have an attacking lineout inside the Highlanders’ 22.

60.00: TRY! What a finish by Sevu Reece, who dives over in the corner and dots down. Reece gets himself in the air and Michael Collins cannot stop the big man. 20-26

61.00: MISS! Mo’unga cannot land the kick. 20-26

65.00: Great work by Jack Whetton to win his team a scrum after holding up an attacker.

68.00: The Landers are tiring, the Saders keep coming at them.

71.00: More pressure from the visitors but they concede a penalty as they search for the game-clincher.

74.00: The Crusaders win a penalty and Mo’unga calls for the tee.

75.00: MISS! Mo’unga pulls his kick. WOW! Highlanders are still in this. 20-26

77.00: TRY! Christie has his second of the game. WOW! Game over! 20-31

78.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga finds his radar. 20-33

80.00: TRY! Jordan at the double now! The winger wins his chip-kick and races 50 metres to score and break the home team’s hearts. 20-38

81.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga brings up the forty-burger. 20-40


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The final score is Highlanders 20 (17) Crusaders 40 (14)


Tries – Frizell, Punivai
Pen – Hunt (2)
Con – Hunt (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Jordan (2), Christie (2), Reece
Pen – Mo’unga (3)
Con – Mo’unga (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 2: Paul Williams
TMO: Chris Hart



15 Michael Collins, 14 Ngane Punivai, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Sio Tomkinson, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (co-captain), 8 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Jeff Thwaites, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 17 Ayden Johnstone, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Vilimoni Koroi.

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Sione Havili, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (captain), 1 Joe Moody.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Ere Enari, 22 Fetuli Paea, 23 Sevu Reece.

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