The Reds and Highlanders play each other in the second Super Rugby match on Saturday. Both teams are coming off a loss.
The Reds have played the Highlanders 21 times in Super Rugby and they have won 10 matches and lost 11.
- The Reds have won five of their last seven games against the Highlanders, but just one of their last three; they haven’t lost back-to-back games against the Dunedin club since 2004/2005.
- The Reds have won four of their last five games on home turf. Their only loss in that time came in the only one of the five against New Zealand opposition (Chiefs).
- The Highlanders have won seven of their last nine games in Australia; they had won just one of 15 games in the country prior to that run.
- The Queensland side has made just six offloads per game this season, fewer than any other team in the competition and four per game fewer than the Highlanders.
- Three of the top four busiest tacklers in Super Rugby 2018 ply their trade for the Highlanders. Luke Whitelock (161), Thomas Franklin (149), and Dillon Hunt (149) are matched only by the Lions’ Franco Mostert (152) thus far.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Queensland.
4.00: The Reds have a defensive lineout inside their 22. Ben Lucas snipes blind and offloads to Jordan Petaia, who takes the ball up the field. Jono Lance’s kick pins the Highlanders inside their half.
6.00: Samu Kerevi picks up a loose ball after Rob Thompson’s knock on. He bursts into the away side’s half before putting boot to ball for a chaser. the ball rolls over the dead-ball line, so it’s a scrum to the visitors.
10.00: The game is being played at a slow pace with not much intensity. Both sides are making handling errors which are killing promising attacks.
12.00: Lima Sopoaga kicks a bomb which Hamish Stewart and Izaia Perese let bounce into touch. What are they doing? Lucky the ball went out.
15.00: The Reds have good field position but Lucas kicks the ball away.
18.00: The Highlanders are close; they have two penalty advantages and are camped on the Reds line.
19.00: The visitors rumbled forward, going through nine phases before referee Rasta Rasivhenge calls on the TMO to check for a grounding for a Highlanders try. No try, because Dillon Hunt played the ball off his feet. Penalty instead.
19.00: PENALTY! Sopoaga breaks the deadlock. 0-3
23.00: The Reds go through nine phases with mostly pick-and-drives before they win a penalty. It was like NFL running backs at the line of scrimmage.
24.00: PENALTY! Lance levels the scores. 3-all
25.00: Sopoaga’s pin-point kick behind the Reds back three, pins the home team on their goal-line with a five-metre lineout.
26.00: The Reds lose their second lineout and give away a penalty for offsides after the Highlanders counter-attack. The Kiwis want to scrum.
27.00: TRY! Tevita Li is in the corner after Kayne Hammington switched play to the openside from the scrum. Perese and Stewart could not get to the winger. 3-8
29.00: MISS! Sopoaga misses from near the sideline. 3-8
32.00: The Reds win a scrum-penalty after bulldozing the opposition pack. Great scrum!
33.00: MISS! OH DEAR! Lance can’t reduce the deficit and the great work from his pack goes to waste. 3-8
35.00: Petaia knocks on after Perese’s wonderful angled run led to a line-break. The Reds went through the phases before losing the ball in contact. Better from the home team.
37.00: Another massive scrum results in a penalty. Lance kicks to the corner.
39.00: TRY! Brandon Paenga-Amosa is over. The Reds pack kept their rolling maul going after it was initially halted. Hunt came in from the side but it did not matter because the Queenslanders powered over the whitewash. 8-all
40.00: CONVERSION! Lance gives his team the lead. 10-8
The halftime score was Reds 10 Highlanders 8
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway at Suncorp.
44.00: The Reds are inside the Highlanders half after a break in the wide channels. They are going through the phases, searching for another five-pointer.
45.00: TRY! Stewart takes Kerevi’s inside pass and crashes over after 20 phases of patient build-up. Lance took the ball to the gain-line and switched to Kerevi which opened up space for the fullback to run. 15-8
46.00: MISS! Lance cannot find his radar. 15-8
48.00: Lance kicks a penalty into the opposition’s 22. The Reds have the momentum and are turning the screw.
50.00: The build-up ends with a messy ruck and a penalty for the Otago side.
52.00: The Highlanders maul the Reds and win the penalty. They kick to the corner.
53.00: The lineout is botched but the Highlanders send it wide. Sopoaga went close. Scott Higginbotham was penalised for clearing from the side. Sopoaga kicks to the other corner.
54.00: The maul is held up over the line. Scrum.
55.00: Big defence by the Queenslanders. They tackled for their lives and get a lineout after tackling Sopoaga into touch.
57.00: The Reds are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. They repel another attack but are pinged for offsides. They will defend another lineout.
58.00: TRY! Liam Squire takes Sopoaga’s inside ball and waltzes over the try-line. 15-13
59.00: CONVERSION! The scores are level. 15-all.
61.00: The Reds are kicking away possession when they should be holding onto the ball. Stewart’s clearance is poor, gifting the away team good field position.
65.00: The Reds are starting to hang onto the ball. They are going through the phases, pick-and-driving towards the 22.
66.00: They cough up possession and the Highlanders counter-attack from deep.
68.00: Jean-Pierre Smith is pinged for a cynical challenge at the breakdown. The ref has had enough and calls over Kerevi for a chat.
69.00: The Kiwis are battering the Reds line. somehow, Queensland survives after botched lineout offers them a reprieve.
72.00: The Reds are still camped inside their own 22. They cannot exit and give the ball away. Highlanders attack.
73.00: Perese breaks from his 22, stepping and beating four defenders before offloading to a support runner. The dies when the ball goes into touch, but the winger saved the day with that explosive run.
75.00: Good counter-ruck by the hosts, but Moses Sorovi kicks a poor kick away. Both sides are still looking to play in the other side’s half. Who wants this?
77.00: The Highlanders come again. They are inside the Reds 22 and going through multiple phases. Penalty to the Kiwis in front of the sticks after Izack Rodda’s no-arms block.
78.00: PENALTY! Sopoaga gives his side a late lead. 15-18
80.00: Another penalty to the Kiwis. They kick to touch and get a rare win in Brisbane.
The final score is Reds 15 (10) Highlanders 18 (8)
Tries – Paenga-Amosa, Stewart
Pen – Lance
Con – Lance
Tries – Li, Squire
Pen – Sopoaga (2)
Con – Sopoaga
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 1: Jordan Way
Assistant Ref 2: Graham Cooper
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore
15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 George Smith, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Jean-Pierre Smith.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Caleb Timu, 21 Liam Wright, 22 Moses Sorovi, 23 Aidan Toua.
15 Josh McKay, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 James Lentjes, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Ash Dixon (captain), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Richard Buckman.