Super Rugby

Highlanders beat Stormers in Dunedin




The Highlanders return to Super Rugby after a weekend off with a bye to host the Stormers, who they have beaten in their last two meetings.

The Highlanders have played the Stormers 19 times in Super Rugby since 1998 and have won 53% of their matches or 10 of the 19 matches.

  • By winning their last two games against the Stormers the Highlanders snapped a six-game losing streak against the Cape Town side.
  • The Highlanders have won their last seven games on home turf, scoring 40+ points in all but one of those fixtures.
  • The Stormers have lost their last nine games in a row in New Zealand, losing by an average margin of 17 points in that time.
  • The Highlanders have recorded a 100% scrum success rate in eight of their last nine home games, winning 63 of their 64 scrums in those games.
  • Damian de Allende beat eight defenders last round, more than any other player and his most in a single game since beating 12 Brumbies’ defenders at the end of 2015

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Dunedin. 

4.00: TRY! Liam Squire finishes off a 10-phase move. The Highlanders shifted the Stormers left and right, starting deep inside their own half. 5-0

5.00: MISS! Lima Sopoaga pulls his kick to the left. 5-0

8.00: EW Viljoen chases down a loose ball and is tackled short of the try line. The Stormers had a couple of cracks but lost the ball in the ruck. Scrum to the hosts.

11.00: TRY! Chris van Zyl finishes off a long Stormers attack. Some good offloads by the South Africans break the Highlanders defensive line. 5-all

12.00: MISS! SP Marais can’t add the extras. 5-all

16.00: TRY! Damian Willemse picks up the misplaced pass and races 75 metres to score. 5-10

17.00: CONVERSION! Willemse adds the two. 5-12

20.00: TRY! Aaron Smith takes Waisake Naholo’s pass and strolls in for the score. The winger beat two defenders and kept his feet inbounds before sending the scrumhalf away. 10-12

21.00: CONVERSION! Sopoaga can’t miss from there. 12-all

22.00: Ben Smith makes a crucial try-saving tackle on Raymond Rhule, who is isolated and concedes a penalty for holding.

24.00: MISS! SP Marais’s penalty attempt is wide. 12-all

28.00: The Stormers are finding their feet. They are getting some go-forward ball and have been camped inside the home team’s half.

31.00: Referee Glen Jackson is checking with the TMO for a chop-tackle on Jan de Klerk. It is a penalty for the Stormers, but no yellow card against the Highlanders; good call by the officials.

32.00: PENALTY! Marais makes no mistake, this time and the visitors lead. 12-15

33.00: TRY! Naholo takes Rob Thompson’s pass and is in for the try. It started with Sopoaga’s initial break and Thompson beating Siya Kolisi on the touchline. 17-15

34.00: CONVERSION! The Highlanders extend their lead. 19-15

35.00: Van Zyl is off after clashing heads with Kobus van Dyk. Salmaan Moerat is on for his debut.

36.00: Tevita Nabura just pulled off a ‘Dillyn Leyds’ no-look, back-door pass while going to ground. Stunning! Nothing comes of the exceptional piece of skill.

38.00: Naholo is pinged for playing the ball off his feet. Stormers clear.

40.00: TRY! Wait, no try. Ben Smith crashes over after Teihorangi Walden’s midfield break, but Glen Jackson adjudges that the fullback was held in the tackle and therefore, did not release. The Stormers clear.

The halftime score was Highlanders 19 Stormers 15

41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway for the second-half at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.

44.00: SO CLOSE! Jackson Hemopo knocks on in the act of crossing the whitewash. Stormers got away with one, there.

47.00: Both teams kicking away possession in search of territory.

48.00: TRY! Luke Whitelock crashes over after several phases inside the Stormers’ 22. It all stemmed from some wonderful offloads and line-breaks. 24-15

49.00: CONVERSION! Sopoaga slots the wide kick. 26-15

51.00: The Stormers are losing the aerial battle and their lineouts have been poor. The gaps are starting to open in midfield, as well as the wide channels.

53.00: It’s relentless by the Highlanders. They have gone up a gear and this young Stormers side is reeling.

55.00: Big scrum by the visitors. They wheel the Highlanders pack and win the penalty. Willemse clears to halfway.

56.00: The Stormers win another penalty, this time at the lineout, which they seemed to have sorted. They are 6 from 8. Make that 7 from 9.

60.00: We are entering the final quarter. The Highlanders break from their 5-metre line, but the move breaks down after Matt Faddes’ pass is dropped into touch by Naholo.

65.00: The Stormers are hanging on, but it’s more down to the Highlanders not finishing off some certain tries.

68.00: The Stormers concede a penalty inside the Highlanders half. Time is starting to run out for the Cape Town men.

70.00: The Stormers win the penalty for offsides by Aki Seiuli. Willemse kicks to the corner.

73.00: The Stormers have possession inside the Highlanders’ 22. They are going through the phases, but need a try, soon.

78.00: TRY! Aaron Smith has a double. 31-15

79.00: CONVERSION! Sopoaga adds his fourth of the night. 33-15

80.00: The ball is kicked into the stands. Game over.


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The final score is Highlanders 33 (19) Stormers 15 (15)


Tries – Squire, A. Smith (2), Naholo, Whitelock
Pen –
Con – Sopoaga (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Van Zyl, Willemse
Pen – Marais
Con – Marais
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 2: Angus Mabey
TMO: Glenn Newman



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

Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomaz, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes.


15 Sarel Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: 16 Dean Muir, 17 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 George Whitehead, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Justin Phillips, 23 Johannes Engelbrecht.

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