Western Force beat the Highlanders in Dunedin


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The Highlanders and the Force have played each other five times and the Force have won three times and the Highlanders twice.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick off.


The Force have been hit with a late injury. Cameron Shepherd has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Patrick Dellit moves to fullback and Mitch Inman moves to centre. Tetera Faulkner comes on to the bench.


Well folks, the Highlanders are on the pitch now – in their new light green strip.


1.00: The Force kick off and we are underway. A bit of a mixed start from both teams.


3.00: Plenty of attack from the Highlanders. The Force get pushed back into their 25 and hang on. Desperate defence from the Force.


5.00: The Force manage to keep the Highlanders out and then as the Force get a break they win a penalty. They kick for touch.


7.00: Another penalty to the Force. Again they kick for touch.


9.00: The Force win another penalty. They take it quickly and gain some ground on the Highlanders and keep the ball rolling forward.


10.00: The Force get to about 10m out and the Highlanders go offside again. That’s four penalties already. Stannard will kick for posts.


11.00: Stannard nails the penalty kick and the Force lead.


13.00: The Highlanders look to strike back and run the ball back into the Force’s 25. They win a penalty so Lima Sopoaga will kick for posts.


14.00: Sopoaga takes the kick and nails it. The scores are level.


16.00: Another penalty so Sopoaga has another penalty kick. As before he nails it.


19.00: The Highlanders have a scrum in the Force’s 25. They Force’s scrum has been strong all game so far and this one they win one as well.


20.00: The Force get the ball and hold on to it again. Their ball retention has been good. They slowly but surely work the ball forward and get close to the tryline but Swanepoel fumbles the pass. The Highlanders then press the Force all the way back to their 25.


22.00: The Highlanders win a Force line out in the Force’s 25. They spread the ball wide and Ben Smith races and then reaches for the line and scores the first try for the Green Machine. TRY.


23.00: Sopoaga’s conversion goes wide.


25.00: The Highlanders are on attack again and Adam Thomson passes to Siale Piutau but James Stannard tackles him before he gets the ball – professional foul. Stannard is shown a yellow card for the foul.


27.00; David Pocock concedes a penalty in front of the posts. Sopoaga takes the kick and slots it. That makes it five penalties for the Highlanders and four for the Force.


30.00: Sopoaga chips through and chases with Ben Smith but David Smith just gets there in time to get to the ball. Highlanders starting to find holes now. 5m scrum for the Highlanders.


32.00: Adam Thomson gets the ball and drives for the line. David Smith holds him up and takes him out. Smith’s move to the Force has been a revelation. That’s two tries in as many minutes he has saved.


35.00: The Force win a line out after a penalty. They work the ball to about 8m out. It is incredibly slow as they wind down the clock with Stannard in the bin.


36.00: The Force move the ball out but they pass forward. Stannard comes back on.


39.00: The Force try to attack the Highlanders in the Highlanders 25 but they concede a penalty. The Highlanders kick for touch. At the line out they knock on.


40.03: The siren sounds for half time. We have time for a scrum which the Force win. They move the ball wide.


41.00: The Force go through the phases but the ball becomes unplayable. It’s half time.


The half time score is Highlanders 14 Western Force 3


The second half is underway.


42.00: The Highlanders win an earlypenalty but Sopoaga misses.


44.00: Siale Piutau gets the ball and races away. He gets to the corner but loses the ball on the 5m line.


47.00: The Highlanders are putting the Force under some serious pressure now.


50.00: The Highlanders keep pressing the Force back and the Force hang on. The Force turn the ball over and the Highlanders start their attack all over again.


51.00: The Highlanders get to about 1m out and then again the Force turn it over and kick the ball out past the half way line.


54.00:Jason Rutledge comes on for Mo Schwalger. Alando Soakai comes on as well Siale Piutau.


55.00: Stannard takes a knock so the game is stopped for a moment.


59.00: The Force win a penalty. It’s easily kickable but the Force choose the scrum.  


61.00: The Force win the scrum and get the ball to the tryline. The Highlanders however are having nothing of it and they drive the Force back to the 25. Great defence.


64.00: The Force rumble the ball up to the tryline. They spread the ball wide after Pocock couldn’t get over and then David Smith scores the Force’s first TRY!!


65.00: James Stannard takes the conversion kick and nails it. The Force trail by four now.


69.00: The Force are throwing everything at the Highlanders. Stannard spots Smith out and open on the wing and passes. The pass goes forward. Opportunity lost.


70.00: Jimmy Cowan comes off.


71.00: The Force, on attack, win a penalty in the Highlanders 25. Stannard bangs over the penalty and the Force trail by one.


72.00: The Force are still throwing everything at the Highlanders. Smith gets the ball inside his half and backs his pace and races for the line dodging about four Highlanders and scores!! TRY!!


74.00: Stannard misses the conversion but the Force lead.


76.00: The Force split the Highlanders again and Smith gets the ball on the wing and scores another one. No wait the pass was forward and we go back for a penalty.


78.00: Stannard knocks over the penalty.


80.00: The Force win another penalty. They kick the ball out and that is it. The Force win the final Super Rugby game at Carisbrook.


The full time score is Highlanders 14 Western Force 21


Tries – B Smith
Pen – L. Sopoaga 3
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Western Force
Tries – D Smith 2
Pen – J Stannard 3
Con – J Stannard
Drop –
Cards – J Stannard (25th min) Yellow

Match Officals
Referee: Jonathon White
Assistant referees: Vinny Munro, Kane McBride
Television match official: Mike Fraser


Highlanders : 1, Jamie Mackintosh (C), 2, Mo Schwalger, 3, Chris King, 4, Jarrad Hoeata, 5, Josh Bekhuis , 6, Adam Thomson, 7, John Hardie, 8, Nasi Manu , 9, Jimmy Cowan (VC), 10, Lima Sopoaga, 11, Siale Piutau, 12, Shaun Treeby, 13, Kendrick Lynn, 14, Kade Poki, 15, Ben Smith

Replacements: 16., Jason Rutledge, 17., Bronson Murray, 18., Tom Donnelly, 19., Nick Crosswell , 20., Aaron Smith, 21., Robbie Robinson, 22., Alando Soakai

Force:1. Kieran Longbottom,2. Nathan Charles,3. Tim Fairbrother,4. Sam Wykes,5. Nathan Sharpe (Captain),6. Matt Hodgson,7. David Pocock,8. Ben McCalman,9. Mark Swanepoel,10. James Stannard,11. David Smith,12. Rory Sidey,13. Mitch Inman,14. Alfie Mafi,15. Patrick Dellit

Reserves:16. Ben Whittaker,17. Matt Dunning,18. Tom Hockings,19. Richard Brown,20. Chris Cottee,21.Tetera Faulkner  ,22. Nick Cummins

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