Super Rugby

Highlanders beat Crusaders in Dunedin



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Super Rugby in Round 12 kicks off on Friday with a blockbuster clash between the current champions and the most successful Super Rugby team of all time.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick off.

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

The ball is kicked off and we are underway.

2.00;  After a fast start Ben Smith tries to clear the ball from his 22. Johnny McNicholl is on him and tackles him a little late. The Highlanders get a penalty where the ball landed. Lima Sopoaga will kick for posts.

3.00: Sopaga nails the kick and the Highlanders lead.

4.00; The handbags come out as there is not shortage of passion in this match. The Highlanders win a penalty and kick for touch.

6.00: The Crusaders get a free kick. They kick to the Highlanders who kick and chase. The Crusaders turn the ball over and attack the Highlanders in their 22. 7 phases in the Highlanders 22. Penalty to the Crusaders.

7.00: The Crusaders will kick for posts. It’s a fierce contest.

8.00: Richie Mo’unga takes the shot and nails it.

11.00:  The Crusaders are getting plenty of possession and the Highlanders are having to do lots of defending. The Crusaders win the ball on the half way line. They move the ball up the field by moving it down the line and the Highlanders are caught offside. Penalty to the Crusaders.

13.00: Mo’unga takes the shot and nails it. Crusaders lead.

15.00: The Crusaders break out and they chip the ball ahead. Kieran Read chases the ball and races with Aaron Smith. The TMO will have a look. Initially it looked like Read had scored but Smith just got a hand to it. TMO denies the Crusaders.

17.00: The Crusaders look to be back in. They use the pick and go on the Highlanders try line. The TMO will have another look. No try.

18.00: Penalty against the Highlanders for a high tackle earlier in the build up. Mo’unga will take the kick for posts. Mo’unga nails the kick.

21.00: The Highlanders get their best attacking opportunity. They get the ball down to the Crusaders 22. They suck a few defenders in and Sopoaga kicks for the corner – its PERFECT for Waisake Naholo who scores in the corner. TRY!

23.00: Sopoaga takles the conversion kick from almost the touchline. He just misses. Wide.

25.00: There is a break in play for an injury to Malakai Fekitoa. He carries on. The Crusaders win a line out and go wide. The Highlanders push them into touch. The Highlanders take it quickly but the ball goes dead. The Highlanders will get the put in.

27.00: Penalty to the Crusaders. Mo’unga lines up the kick. He nails it.

29.00:The Highlanders get the ball after restart at a line out. Matt Faddes gets the ball from a long Aaron Smith pass. He backs himself and slips past one tackler and races for the line and scores. TRY!

30.00: Sopoaga takes the conversion and misses. Highlanders lead.

33.00: Two players collide in the air going for the ball – McNicholl and Smith. Penalty to the Highlanders. They kick for touch.

36.00: The Highlanders go on the attack again from the line out. They stretch the Crusaders in their 22 by sucking the defenders in on the left and then go right and Naholo scores. TRY! Thats a bonus point try if it stays like that.

37.00: Sopoaga nails the conversion.

39.00: The Crusaders work the ball into the Highlanders 22.

40.00: The siren sounds and the Crusaders continue to attack. The ball is almost intercepted by the Highlanders but they are called back. It’s half time.

The half time score was Highlanders 20 Crusaders 12

The Highlanders kick off and the second half is underway.

41.00: The Highlanders almost get the perfect start as they attack outwide but the ball goes into touch off a Crusaders player.

42.00: The Highlanders win the line out and attack in the Crusaders 22. Naholo slips the pass behind him but the ball goes into touch.

46.00: Penalty to the Highlanders for offside. Lots of pushing and shoving from the players. Wyatt Crockett gets a talking to. Sopoaga kicks for touch.

47.00: Penalty to the Crusaders for coming into the line out. Andy Ellis kicks upfield. The Crusaders get the put in at the scrum when the ball goes dead.

50.00: The Highlanders look dangerous as Ben Smith and Faddes attack down the wing. They have to chip the ball ahead and Dagg kicks the ball upfield. The Crusaders chase but the Highlanders win the ball. They get the ball out to Matt Faddes who slips off a tackle and races for the line and scores. TRY!

53.00: Sopoaga adds the conversion.

54.00: The TMO is called in for a possible late shoulder charge on Richie Mo’unga by Joe Wheeler. Wheeler is yellow carded. A bit harsh. Ryan Crotty comes on (for Fonotia) and the Crusaders kick for the line out.

55.00: The Crusaders win a penalty from the line out. They kick to the corner and set up a 5m line out.

56.00: The Crusaders win the line out and drive over the line but get held up. They do however get the 5m scrum put in.

57.00: Wow, penalty to the Highlanders from the scrum – with a forward down. Sopoaga kicks for touch to clear.

59.00: Mo’unga slips off a tackle and the Crusaders almost get through. They continue to attack and after 8 phases Jordan Taufua goes over and scores. TRY!

61.00: Mo’unga adds the conversion.

63.00: Crusaders going through the phases moving the ball down the line. The whistle goes and the handbags come out again. Joe Wheeler’s time in the bin is up and he is replaced by Tom Franklin who comes on.

66.00: Ben Smith chips the ball over the Crusaders on attack and chases and almost gets away but is caught.

69.00: The Highlanders get the ball into the Crusaders 22. Ben Smith gets them up to the 10m and Matt Faddes gets them to the 5m line. The Highlanders attack the line relentlessly.

70.00: The Crusaders defence finally cracks and  Liam Squire crashes through and scores. TRY! Bonus point again. Luke Romano couldn’t even get a hand on him.

71.00: Sopoaga takes the converison kick and nails it. Crusaders have to score more than twice now.

76.00: The Highlanders are pinning the Crusaders back in their half. Richie Mo’unga is trying to create opportunities but the Highlanders defence is still rock solid.

77.00; The Highlanders continue to press the Crusaders back and they get the ball into the corner. The Crusaders turn the ball over and Mo’unga tries to run the ball out. The ball is lost and the Highlanders concede a penalty.

79.00: The Crusaders take the line out for the penalty. They win the line out and get the ball into the Highlanders half.

80.00: Crusaders go through 8 phases and the whistle goes for a penalty.

80.21 : The siren sounds but the Crusaders attack and Israel Dagg slips off a tackle and races to the line and scores. TRY!  Kieran Read set up the move.

81.00: Mo’unga takes the conversion and nails it.

That’s it.

The Highlanders have won.

The full time score is Highlanders 34 (20) Crusaders 26 (12) 


Tries – W.Naholo 2. M.Faddes 2, L.Squire
Pen – L.Sopoaga
Con – L.Sopoaga 3
Drop –
Cards – J.Wheeler (54th min yellow)

Tries – J. Taufua, I. Dagg
Pen – R.Mo’unga 4
Con – R.Mo’unga 2
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Ref 1:Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 2:Kane McBride
TMO : Aaron Paterson



1. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2. Ash Dixon, 3. Siosiua Halanukonuka , 4. Alex Ainley, 5. Joe Wheeler, 6. Elliot Dixon, 7. Dan Pryor, 8. Luke Whitelock, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Lima Sopoaga, 11. Patrick Osborne 12. Malakai Fekitoa, 13. Matt Faddes, 14. Waisake Naholo, 15. Ben Smith (c)

Replacements : 16. Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17. Craig Millar, 18. Ross Geldenhuys, 19. Tom Franklin, 20. Liam Squire, 21. Fumiaki Tanaka, 22. Marty Banks, 23. Teihorangi Walden


1. Wyatt Crockett ,2. Codie Taylor, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Luke Romano, 5. Sam Whitelock, 6. Jordan Taufua, 7. Matt Todd, 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Andy Ellis, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 11. Jone Macilai, 12. David Havili, 13. Kieron Fonotia, 14. Johnny McNicholl, 15. Israel Dagg

Replacements : 16. Ged Robinson , 17. Joe Moody ,18. Mike Alaalatoa ,19. Scott Barrett ,20. Tim Boys , 21. Mitchell Drummond , 22. Ryan Crotty, 23. Marty Mckenzie,

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