Waratahs v Highlanders Super Rugby Preview

Out of the last six Super Rugby matches between the Sydney based Waratahs and the Dunedin based Highlanders both teams have won three matches each.

Since 2009 the matches between these teams have been decided by home advantage so whoever was playing at home won the match.

Earlier this year the teams met in Dunedin and the Highlanders won the match 26-19.

Overall the Waratahs have played the Highlanders 19 times in Super Rugby since 1996 and they have won 13 matches and lost 6.

That gives the Waratahs a record of winning 68% of their matches against the Waratahs regardless of venue. The average score when the Waratahs play the Highlanders is Waratahs 26 Highlanders 19.

This weekend the Waratahs have home advantage as the match will be played in Sydney. The teams have met in Sydney in 9 out of the 19 occasions that these teams have played each other.

In those 9 matches the Waratahs have won 7 out of nine giving them a record of winning 78% of their home matches against the Highlanders.

The average score when the Waratahs play the Highlanders in Sydney is Waratahs 30 Highlanders 19.

The Waratahs finished the Super Rugby season in second place with 52 points. The Highlanders finished the season with 53 points but the Waratahs were the top Australian team so they came second.

The Waratahs had a bye last week but have played 16 matches and won 11. They have played 8 matches at home and won six or 75% of their home matches.

The Waratahs have played in 6 Super Rugby Semi-finals and they have won 3. There is a pattern in the Waratahs Semi-finals as they alternate winning and losing with each appearance. Last year they won the Semi-final so if the pattern continues they will lose this weekend.

The Highlanders on the other hand have played 17 matches as they had a qualification final and they have won 12 matches. The Highlanders have played 8 matches away from home and won 5 or 63% of their away matches.

The Highlanders have appeared in four Semi-finals (1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002) and they have won one which was against the Stormers in 1999

In terms of selection the Highlanders have made one injury enforced selection as openside flanker James Lentjes has replaced the injured Dan Pryor who dislocated his elbow against the Chiefs. All three of the Highlanders All Blacks will start.

The Waratahs have also made one change for this week as Kurtley Beale failed to recover from an injury sustained in the warm up against the Reds before their by so Matt Carraro comes in to the centres.

The Bookies have given the Highlanders a 4 point start for this Match – with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. The Highlanders have had an extraordinary year and Aaron Smith has been in sublime form. However the Waratahs win more often at home than the Highlanders win away from home so we think home advantage will be the deciding factor. The Waratahs should edge this by two.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 1/HD.

Average score: Waratahs 26 Highlanders 19

Last six results
14 Mar 2015 Waratahs v Highlanders 19-26 Dunedin
06 Jul 2014 Waratahs v Highlanders 44-16 Sydney
10 Mar 2012 Waratahs v Highlanders 17-18 Dunedin
11 Jun 2011 Waratahs v Highlanders 33-7 Sydney
30 Apr 2010 Waratahs v Highlanders 10-26 Invercargill
27 Feb 2009 Waratahs v Highlanders 34-16 Sydney

Waratahs overall record against the Highlanders
Played 19 , Wins 13, Losses 6 , Draws 0

Match No.124: Waratahs v Highlanders
Date : Saturday 27 June 2015
Venue : Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick Off : 19:55 local, 09:55 GMT, 11:55 SAST, 21:55 NZST
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant Ref 1:Andrew Lees
Assistant Ref 2: James Leckie
TMO : George Ayoub

Teams

Waratahs

1 Benn Robinson , 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau , 3 Sekope Kepu , 4 Will Skelton , 5 David Dennis (C) , 6 Jacques Potgieter , 7 Michael Hooper (VC) , 8 Wycliff Palu , 9 Nick Phipps , 10 Bernard Foley , 11 Rob Horne , 12 Matt Carraro , 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper , 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro , 15 Israel Folau (VC)

Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu , 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Mitchell Chapman, 20 Stephen Hoiles, 21 Patrick McCutcheon, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Jono Lance, 24 Peter Betham

Highlanders

1. Brendon Edmonds , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Josh Hohneck , 4. Alex Ainley , 5. Mark Reddish , 6. Elliot Dixon , 7. James Lentjes , 8. Nasi Manu , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Patrick Osborne , 12. Richard Buckman , 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Ben Smith

Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon , 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 18. Ross Geldenhuys , 19. Joe Wheeler , 20. Gareth Evans , 21. Fumiaki Tanaka , 22. Trent Renata , 23. Shaun Treeby

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