Super Rugby

Highlanders beat Hurricanes in Dunedin




The final Super Rugby round before the break for the June Internationals kicks off in Dunedin where the Highlanders host the Hurricanes.

The Canes have won the last three matches between these two sides and the two before that were won by the Highlanders. One of those wins was the 2015 Super Rugby final.

  • Each of the Highlanders’ last eight games at home against the Hurricanes has been decided by a margin of seven points or fewer, though the Dunedin side has picked up just three wins in that span (L5).
  • The Highlanders have won nine of their last 11 New Zealand derbies when playing as hosts, including wins in their last three such fixtures.
  • The Dunedin squad have won their last 11 games in succession at home; the last and only time they won more was a 13-game streak from 2000 to 2002.
  • The Hurricanes have conceded the fewest metres of any side this season, allowing their opponents just 348m with ball in hand, while they’ve also missed the fewest tackles of any side (19.6 per game).
  • Rob Thompson has assisted six tries this season, the most of any non-half back. Two of those assists have come via kicks, only Beauden Barrett (3) has set up more tries with the boot this campaign.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Dunedin for this New Zealand derby. 

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4.00: Julian Savea tackles Tevita Li high and is penalised. Lima Sopoaga clears to halfway.

5.00: Tonight is a big night for Brad Shields, who is making his 100th Super Rugby appearance. He will be moving to England in the not too distant future.

8.00: It’s pretty cagey at the moment. Both sides are testing each other as they probe for weaknesses.

10.00: The Hurricanes are penalised near their 22, and the home team will take a shot at goal.

11.00: PENALTY! Sopoaga puts the first points on the board. 3-0

12.00: Liam Squire cleans out T.J. Perenara and is pinged for his effort. Beauden Barrett kicks to the corner.

14.00: The lineout is lost by the away team, but they come straight back through Ben Lam, the try machine. He is tackled into touch, going for the corner, by Rob Thompson.

15.00: Aaron Smith clears the danger.

17.00: Lam is only one try away from equaling Ngani Laumape’s Super Rugby record of 15 tries in a season.

18.00: Hurricanes win a penalty on the Landers 22, and opt for a scrum. That is very interesting because it’s not like they are close to the goal-line.

19.00: The ball is lost forward at the breakdown, and the home team live to fight another day.

21.00: The opening quarter has been pretty dull as both teams search for the breakthrough.

22.00: Another penalty is awarded against the Highlanders. This time it is Kalolo Tuiloma who is pinged for not rolling away. The Hurricanes want another scrum. Interesting call.

23.00: TRY! Perenara breaks to the left, plays Beauden Barrett, who draws the defenders and sends his brother Jordie, away for an easy score. 3-5

24.00: CONVERSION! Beauden converts Jordie’s try. 3-7

26.00: Ben Smith takes a nasty fall, challenging Shields for a high ball. The fullback needs to leave for an HIA after that fall. Ben O’Keefe is talking to the Highlanders doctor about Smith’s well-being before allowing the All Black to get attention.

29.00: The Hurricanes get away with one after the home team botch a certain score with a forward pass.

32.00: The handling errors are starting to mount for both sides. Scrum to the Highlanders on the Hurricanes 10m.

33.00: Gareth Evans loses the ball forward at the ruck. Scrum to the Highlanders, now. It is very scrappy and stop-start in Otago.

35.00: It is never ending reset scrums after handling errors. The crowd is quiet.

37.00: INJURY ALERT! Jordie Barrett is down after attempting to tackle Thompson. He is holding his knee. The Canes are still attacking, though, after turning the ball over.

38.00: WHAT IS GOING ON? The referee and TMO are checking for foul play. Jordie Barrett is up, he picks up the loose ball, everyone stops, but the 21-year-old races away for the try. The foul play happens at a ruck, but it’s about two phases prior to Barrett’s score. This might come back for a Highlanders penalty.

38.00: Julian Savea looks to have thrown a punch after being tackled. The cameras are struggling to get a close up of the incident, but you can see it from a distant camera. How is Savea still on the field?

38.00: YELLOW CARD! Squire is going to the bench for 10 minutes.

39.00: Beauden Barrett kicks to the Highlanders 22 to the tune of the home support’s boos. It’s all kicking off, here. Scuffles breaking out everywhere.

40.00: The ref asks Ben Smith and Shields to talk to their team-mates about their ill-discipline. The chat is still going on between the two sides.

41.00: Ardie Savea is tackled by Ben Smith, but he was on the ground. Beauden Barrett kicks to the halfway line.

43.00: The game has burst into life. Both sides turning the ball over but running from everywhere. This is amazing.

44.00: TRY Li is over after an incredible series of play. Jackson Hemopo played the winger on his inside before Li crashed over. The Highlanders went from their own 22, after losing the ball, and ended with a score, 13 phases and an Aaron Smith quick-tap, later. 8-7

45.00: MISS! The conversion attempt is wide. 8-7

The halftime score was Highlanders 8 Hurricanes 7

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway with a high restart by Beauden Barrett. 

42.00: Ricky Riccitelli is a lucky boy; he intentionally knocks the ball forward, stopping an overlap and a Highlanders chance for a score. The referee has got that wrong, again.

44.00: TRY! It’s the Smith show; Ben to Aaron after the fullback found a hole. Jordie Barrett was taken out by his own man, allowing Ben Smith to break away and set up Aaron Smith’s try. 13-7

45.00: MISS! The kick is not on target. 13-7

49.00: TRY! Jeff Toomaga-Allen is over after Nehe Milner-Skudder and Julian Savea’s quick thinking. They combined with a quick throw, Milner-Skudder attracted three defenders before offloading to Savea. The big man finished off the move. Game on! 13-12

50.00: CONVERSION! Beauden Barrett puts his team in front. 13-14

55.00: Michael Fatialofa is pinged for tackling a player without the ball. Sopoaga kicks to touch.

58.00: The Highlanders are starting to get their groove on. They have an attacking scrum inside the opposition’s 22.

60.00: TRY! Tyrel Lomax takes Aaron Smith’s pass, andToby Smith, before crashing over the whitewash. 18-14

61.00: CONVERSION! The first-five can’t miss from right in front. 20-14

63.00: Massive scrum by the Highlanders; they smashed the Canes’ scrum and win the penalty. Momentum is all with the home team.

66.00: Waisake Naholo is playing like a loose forward; he wins the turnover penalty at the breakdown and Sopoaga clears.

67.00: Both teams are emptying their benches.

68.00: TRY! Waisake Naholo is over for his team’s third score of the evening. 25-14

70.00: CONVERSION! Sopoaga adds the extras. 27-14

72.00: The Highlanders win a penalty after some serious pressure inside the Canes 22. Ben Smith wants the three.

73.00: PENALTY! Sopoaga puts the game to bed. 30-14

76.00: The Highlanders are going for the kill; they want this bonus-point.

79.00: Ben Smith opts for a five-metre scrum to the left of the sticks. Somehow, the Hurricanes manage to halt the opposition, and they clear to halfway.

81.00: Jordie Barrett has seen enough and kicks the ball into touch.


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

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The final score is Highlanders 30 (8) Hurricanes 14 (7)


Tries – Li, A. Smith, Lomax, Naholo
Pen – Sopoaga (2)
Con – Sopoaga (2)
Drop –
Cards – Squire (Yellow, 38′)

Tries – J. Barrett, Toomaga-Allen
Pen –
Con – B. Barrett (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: Angus Mabey
Assistant Ref 2: Mike Lash
TMO: Aaron Paterson



15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Kalolo Tuiloma, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Richard Buckman


15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Jordie Barrett, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Thomas Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith.

Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Vaea Fifita/Murray Douglas, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Wes Goosen

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