Super Rugby

Waratahs beat Highlanders in Dunedin




The Highlanders have won five of their last six Super Rugby matches in the regular season against the NSW Waratahs (L1), including each of their last two.

The Highlanders have won their last six Super Rugby home matches on the bounce against the NSW Waratahs and have scored 40+ points in each of the last three games.

  • The Kiwis have won 16 of their last 18 Super Rugby games at home against Australian squads, including a 61-10 win over the Western Force (Round 13, 2022 Super Rugby Pacific).
  • The Waratahs have won three of their last four Super Rugby Pacific games away from home, including a 26-20 win over Moana Pasifika in their last away game (Round 12, 2022).
  • NSW have won only one of their last 13 Super Rugby games against Kiwi opposition and haven’t won away to a New Zealand club since a 29-24 win over the Hurricanes in Round 10, 2015.
  • The Tahs have scored seven tries from mauls, the most of any team in the competition and two more than the Landers (5).
  • Only the Chiefs (12) have scored more tries starting possession from a scrum than the Highlanders (8) in 2022; the Waratahs have scored seven tries this way.
  • New South Wales has the best scrum in Super Rugby Pacific, the Highlanders the best lineout.

Players to watch

  • Sam Gilbert (8/8 – 100%) and Marty Banks (11/12 – 92%) have the best goal-kicking percentage.
  • Jed Holloway has won 63 lineouts (inc. 5 steals), the most by any player and 26 more than the Highlanders’ best Josh Dickson (37).

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 in Dunedin at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

3.00: Hugh Renton wins the turnover and the highlanders rolled into the opposition’s 22 with 13 phases. Sam Gilbert and Saula Ma’u went close before Josh Dickson scored under the posts. 5-0

4.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 7-0

6.00: Highlanders are looking dangerous in the early stages in Otago.

8.00: The Waratahs win piggyback penalties at the ruck and for offsides. Ben Donaldson boots to the Landers’ 22.

10.00: Denny Solomona is offside. Ben Donaldson kicks to the corner.

11.00: TRY! Will Harris dances through Josh Dickson and Scott Gregory to score under the sticks. 7-5

12.00: CONVERSION! Tane Edmed levels. 7-7

14.00: The Tahs do some good work in the tackle/maul, holding up the defender to win the turnover inside their 22.

17.00: It’s a little crappy at the moment, both teams giving away possession too easily.

19.00: NSW, who has the best scrum in the tournament, wins the first scrum penalty of the game.

21.00: Te Tera Faulkner’s knock-on kick starts a Highlanders counter-attack from inside their 22. The hosts go wide before winning a lineout.

22.00: Superb work from Marky Mark Nawaqanitawase, who made a one-on-one tackle on Daniel Lienert-Brown before beating the attackers to Gilbert’s grubber.

23.00: Goal-line dropout after the Waratahs held up the home forwards.

26.00: The hosts are finding their groove, but cannot break through the white wall. The visitors have looked good with the ball in hand, but also can’t find another way through the Kiwis’ defence.

29.00: RED CARD! Sam Gilbert is off for a terrible tip-tackle on Michael Hooper, who landed on his neck. 7-7

31.00: New South Wales goes through 13 phases before Harris gets held up; however, the ref tells Aaron Smith he will show a card if there is another infringement on their line. Edmed does not kick to the corner, NSW scrum instead.

32.00: TRY! Jake Gordon combines with Edmed and using decoy runners in the midfield, sucks in the defenders before Edmed sends a long, floated pass to the unmarked Nawaqanitawase to score in the corner. 7-12

33.00: MISS! Edmed pulls his kick past the post. 7-12

35.00: Another attack for the Tahs ends with Dylan Pietsch’s pass going into touch. The home team is under the pump.

37.00: TRY! Hooper breaks through an unguarded ruck, slips Daniel Lienert-Brown’s tackle and races into the 22. Hooper fends off Connor Garden-Bachop and beats James Lentjes to score his 30th Super Rugby try. 7-17

38.00: CONVERSION! Edmed makes no mistake. 7-19

41.00: Nothing comes from the final attack as the hooter sounds for halftime.

The halftime score was Highlanders 7 NSW Waratahs 19

41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway in Dunedin, Otago.

43.00: Otago earns a scrum after a Tahs’ mistake.

45.00: Waratahs earn another penalty to set up a good attacking opportunity.

47.00: The hosts win the scrum after Hooper loses possession.

50.00: PENALTY! Marty Banks reduces the gap to nine. 10-19

51.00: YELLOW CARD! Paddy Ryan is off for a dangerous cleanout on Dickson. 10-19

54.00: Liam Coltman leaves to a standing ovation after playing his last home game for the Highlanders (137).

55.00: The Landers have the advanatge now, but a forward pass kills another good chance.

56.00: TRY! Scott Gregory finishes off a sublime counter-attack after Donaldson’s mistake returned possession to the Highlanders after the fullback dropped Smith’s speculative box-kick. 15-19

58.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 15-19

61.00: Waratahs are back to 15 men but still under the pump.

63.00: Coleman’s men kick a penalty to touch instead of taking the points than lose their attacking lineout.

66.00: PENALTY! Edmed lands an important penalty. 15-22

67.00: Jeremy Williams drops the ball over the try line after Banks’ leg knocked the ball out of the lock’s hands.

69.00: PENALTY! Edmed lands an important goal. 15-25

71.00: The Tahs botch a glorious chance to score with some shoddy handling.

74.00: MISS! Edmed misses from almost in front. 15-25

76.00: The Tahs have an attacking lineout on the Landers’ 10m. This is important for both teams because time is running out.

77.00: TRY! Ned Hanigan breaks a tackle before sending Edmed away with an offload to win the game for the Aussies. 15-30

78.00: CONVERSION! Edmed lands his two-pointer. 15-32

82.00: TRY! The Highlanders strike as the Waratahs look for a bonus point. Gregory played a role in Coombes-Fabling scoring his first SR try. 20-32

84.00: MISS! Banks cannot convert. 20-32


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The final score is Highlanders 20 (7) Waratahs 32 (19)


Tries – Dickson, Gregory, Coombes-Fabling
Pen – Banks
Con – Gilbert
Drop –
Cards – Gilbert (Red, 29′)

NSW Waratahs
Tries – Harris, Nawaqanitawase, Hooper, Edmed
Pen – Edmed (2)
Con – Edmed (3)
Drop –
Cards – Ryan (Yellow, 51′)

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 2: 
Angus Mabey
TMO: Chris Hart


Highlanders: 15 Connor Garden-Bachop, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Josh Timu, 12 Scott Gregory, 11 Rory van Vugt, 10 Sam Gilbert, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Hugh Renton, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 James Lentjes, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Sam Caird, 3 Saula Ma’u, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Luca Inch, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Max Hicks, 20 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Liam Coombes-Fabling.

NSW Waratahs: 15 Ben Donaldson, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Alex Newsome, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Dylan Pietsch, 10 Tane Edmed, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Will Harris, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Langi Gleeson, 5 Hugh Sinclair, 4 Geoff Cridge, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Te Tera Faulkner.

16 Mahe Vailanu, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jeremy Williams, 20 Ned Hanigan, 21 Charlie Gamble, 22 Jack Grant, 23 Jamie Roberts.

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