Super Rugby

Hurricanes beat Highlanders in Wellington




The Hurricanes have played the Highlanders 33 times in Super Rugby since 1996, the Hurricanes have won 19 matches and lost 14 times.

The Hurricanes’ 19 wins out of 33 matches gives them a record of winning 57% of their matches against the Highlanders regardless of venue.

  • Eighteen of the last 22 Super Rugby clashes between the Hurricanes and Highlanders have been decided by a margin of seven points or fewer, including their last two meetings on the bounce.
  • The Canes have lost their last two Super Rugby games on home turf; the last time they lost more in succession at home was four-game stretch across the 2013 and 2014 campaigns.
  • The Highlanders have scored the opening try of the game in each of their last two Super Rugby meetings with the Hurricanes, after doing so only once in nine meetings prior; however, they’ve gone on to lose their last two encounters with the Canes.
  • The Landers boasts a 94% success rate at the lineout so far in Super Rugby Aotearoa, the highest of any team in the competition – indeed, they are the only team to have lost fewer than one lineout per game (0.7) on their own throw.
  • Ngani Laumape (Hurricanes) has crossed for five tries in his last five Super Rugby games against the Highlanders, including three tries in his last two appearances against them.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

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

1.00: PEEEEP! Referee Brendon Pickerill blows his whistle and gets us underway at the Cake Tin in Wellington.

2.00: The wind is blowing from the north, but it swirls in the stadium; the kicking games will be interesting.

4.00: NO TRY! POOR CALL! Mitchell Hunt, with a breathtaking line-break, races from deep inside his half and burst through the Hurricanes forwards before sending Aaron Smith away under the posts. The referee and TMO overturn the try because they believe Ash Dixon obstructed Du’Plessis Kirifi. 0-0

6.00: NO TRY! The Hurricanes hit back with a score of their own through Ngani Laumape. Shannon Frizell is impeded by Devan Flanders allowing Laumape a free run in to score. Better call, this. 0-0

9.00: Hunt boots a penalty about 30 metres out from the Canes’ goal-line.

11.00: Some big defence by the hosts gets them a scrum; however, the set-piece is reset three times as the front rows struggle to engage and stay up.

14.00: Fletcher Smith makes a break in midfield, but he cannot find the inside ball to Laumape, who loses it forward. The Canes do get a penalty and kick to the corner.

16.00: Great defending by the Highlanders, who pushed the Canes wide and snuffed out the sustained attack. Dillon Hunt wins the penalty at the breakdown and the Landers clear to their 10m.

17.00: Jona Nareki drops Smith’s bomb – scrum to the hosts on halfway.

19.00: The Hurricanes break into the 22, lose the ball in the tackle, but win a penalty, back at the Landers’ 10m. Jordie Barrett kicks to the corner.

20.00: Another sustained attack ends with zero points. Laumape tries a grubber but Dillon Hunt gets back to dot down for a 22 drop-out.

23.00: Mitch Hunt with another line-break, but his pass is intercepted by TJ Perenara. Kirifi. The halfback races away and tries to offload to Kirifi, who loses the ball in contact.

24.00: The players break for some water as the medics deal with a few sore bodies.

26.00: Sloppy play by the visitors. Ben May steps over the ruck and picks up the unprotected ball allowing the Hurricanes to clear the danger.

27.00: Penalty to the home team for holding by the visitors.

28.00: TRY! This one stands. Perenara throws an outrageous dummy, selling his opposite number and fellow All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith, before darting under the posts. 5-0

29.00: CONVERSION! Barrett adds the extras. 7-0

30.00: Penalty to the visitors, who will take a shot.

32.00: MISS! Mitch Hunt’s kick is wide to the right. 7-0

35.00: Hurricanes win a penalty, but Barrett’s kick is not out. The Highlanders bring the ball back up to halfway, but Aaron Smith loses the ball forward in the tackle.

36.00: TRY! Van Wyk barged his way over to score in the corner after Barrett’s break and long, double skip-pass. The TMO looked for a foot in touch by the winger, but the South African flyer got the ball down before his foot hit the chalk. 12-0

37.00: MISS! Barrett misses from the sideline. 12-0

39.00: The gaps are starting to open up for Jason Holland’s side, but the final pass is still going to ground.

40.00: The Highlanders opt to kick to touch and go into halftime trailing by 12.

The halftime score was Hurricanes 12 Highlanders 0

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in New Zealand.

43.00: The Hurricanes win an early turnover inside the opposition’s 22. They go left to right and back again as they search for an opening, but the Highlanders’ defending stands strong for 23 phases, holding up May after giving away a penalty. Canes opt for a 5m scrum.

44.00: Reset.

48.00: TRY! Another long series of attacks ends after 17 phases when Flanders dived over the chalk. Mitch Hunt was down after running into Laumape from the scrum, so the visitors defended with 14 men before running out of bodies. 17-0

49.00: MISS! The kick is no good. 17-0

50.00: Penalty to the Highlanders, they opt for a shot at goal.

51.00: PENALTY! Mitch Hunt gets opens his side’s account. 17-3

54.00: The Highlanders are starting to get their hands on the ball, they are winning penalties at the breakdown and scrum, which is allowing them to build some attacks.

57.00: A high shot leads to another penalty for the Otago men. Dixon opts for a kick to the corner.

58.00: TRY! The Highlanders shift their maul from left to right, seeing the two on one, Dixon sends Aaron Smith away in the corner. 17-8

60.00: MISS! Hunt pushes his kick wide of the posts. 17-8

63.00: The home team are back on the charge, attacking inside the opposition’s 22 after another penalty.

66.00: The Dunedin men win another scrum-penalty to relieve the pressure.

67.00: NO TRY! OH, DEAR! Barrett gets hit in the face by the ball when it looked easier to score. Canes are knocking on the door. 17-8

69.00: Scott Scrafton pilfers the Highlanders’ ball, the Canes clear all the way to the Landers’ 22.

71.00: Scrum to the hosts 15 metres in field and 10m out.

74.00: The Highlanders find themselves in a good attacking position with a lineout inside the 22, but the ball is lost forward, and the Canes counter-attack to halfway.

77.00: Highlanders go back down the field but cannot cross as the Canes get a hand in the way. They do have a scrum under the posts.

79.00: PENALTY! Hunt lands the three, but the hooter sounds. 17-11

81.00: The Highlanders have to 100 metres to score, which is highly unlikely.

82.00: The Highlanders lose their throw – game over!


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The final score is Hurricanes 17 (12) Highlanders 11 (0)


Tries – Perenara, Van Wyk, Flanders
Pen –
Con – J. Barrett
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – A. Smith
Pen – M. Hunt (2)
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 1: James Doleman
Assistant Ref 2: Ben O’Keeffe
TMO: Mike Fraser



15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Devan Flanders, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Ben May.

Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Billy Proctor, 23 Wes Goosen.


15 Michael Collins, 14 Scott Gregory, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Sio Tomkinson, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 PariPari Parkinson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (captain), 1 Ayden Johnstone.

Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20 Jesse Parete, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Teariki Ben-Nicholas.

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