Highlanders beat Hurricanes in Wellington

Out of the last ten Super Rugby matches between the Wellington based Hurricanes and the Dunedin based Highlanders the Dunedin side have won six and the Wellington side four matches.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick off. Ardie Savea has been ruled out so Callum Gibbins starts. After 124 matches it will come down to this one match. Highlanders will be in their traditional blue and yellow. Home teams as a record of winning 15 losing 4 in Super Rugby finals. 

0.001: Lima Sopoaga kicks off and we are underway. The Hurricanes kick the ball almost straight into touch. 

1.00: Highlanders win the line out and start their attack. 

2.00: After launching several attacks the Highlanders lose the ball and the Hurricanes counter attack. The Hurricane make about 15 m and the Highlanders turn the ball over and they win a penalty. It’s early but the Highlanders look good. 

3.00: Lima Sopoaga lines up the kick and he nails it. The Highlanders lead. 

5.00: Penalty to the Hurricanes for offside after some attacking play by the Hurricanes. Beauden Barrett will kick for posts. 

7.00: Barrett misses so the scores stay the same. 

9.00: Penalty again to the Hurricanes. Nasi Manu going off his feet. Barrett kicks for touch and the line out. The Hurricanes win the line out and attack the Highlanders on their 22. 

10.00: The Hurricanes lose the ball forward and it is retrieved by Aaron Smith who takes it over the tryline and dots the ball down. 5m scrum. 

12.00; The scrum collapses. It is reset and the Hurricanes win the scrum. The Hurricanes send wave after wave of attack at the Highlanders line. Barrett almost goes over but is short. The Hurricanes win a penalty for offside. Highlanders are on a warning. 

13.00: The Hurricanes call for a 5m scrum. 

14.00: The Hurricanes front row collapses and the Highlanders win a penalty. Big moment for the Highlanders scrum. Sopoaga kicks for touch. 

16.00: The Hurricanes run at the Highlanders but Julian Savea is tackled and loses the ball. Ben Smith starts the attack and the Highlanders move the ball through the hands. Waisake Naholo breaks down the wing but passes the ball to Conrad Smith. 

19.00: The Highlanders win the ball back and go through the phases and after a Ben Smith break they get to the 5m line. He is caught and the Hurricanes turn the ball over, they run the ball and then boot upfield. Patrick Osborne starts the attack from deep again. 

20.00: Richard Buckman almost gets through with an intercept. The Highalnders recycle and Sopaga goes for a drop goal but misses. This is being played at an incredible pace – its like a sevens game. 

21.00: The Highlanders win a line out. They run it initially and then kick high. The Hurricanes miss the ball and then regather it. After a couple of phases the Hurricanes win a penalty and kick for touch and the line out. 

22.00: The Hurricanes win the line out. They get the advantage and continue their attack. We go back for the penalty for tackling a player in the air. Barrett will kick for posts. Everyone looks grateful for the break. 

24.00: Barrett lines up the kick and this one he misses too. 

26.00: Penalty to the Highlanders near the half way line. Sopoaga lines up the kick – he nails it from 49 m out. 

29.00: The Hurricanes win the ball from the kick off. They work the ball to the Highlanders 22. The Highlanders turn the ball over and kick deep. 

30.00: The Hurricanes launch their counter attack. Milner-Skudder and Nonu make ground. The Hurricanes continue to press forward. 

31.00: Conrad Smith almost gets through and the Hurricanes get to the 5m line but knock on. 

33.00: The Highlanders win the scrum, Sopoaga boots upfield, Perenara breaks and gets through one, is tackled by Ben Smith into touch. 

34.00:The Hurricanes win the line out and drive to the line. The Highlanders defence holds them out and the ball goes dead. 5m scrum. 

35.00: Hurricanes win the scrum, they move the ball to the posts and then they change sides and Ma’a Nonu goes over for the TRY! TMO checks. It’s good. 

37.00: From the corner Barrett misses the conversion. Highlanders still lead. 

38.00: The Highlanders almost hit back straight away. Liam Coltman has a run and is taken into touch. Highlanders get the throw in. The Highlanders win the line out and attack. 

39.00: Elliot Dixon gets the ball 10m out and charges for the line. He breaks about 4 tackles and slams the ball down for the try. We go to the TMO to check. If he gets it, it will be a brilliant effort. Replays show he may JUST managed to get the ball down. It’s TRY! 

40.00: Lima Sopoaga takes the conversion from out wide. He nails it. Bang on target. 

The half time score was Hurricanes 5 Highlanders 13

James Marshall kicks off and the second half is underway. 

41.00: The Highlanders concede a penalty from the line out. Barrett will kick for posts. 

42.00: Barrett nails the penalty kick to cut the deficit a little. 

43.00: Penalty to the Highlanders for holding on.  They kick for touch and the line out. 

44.00: Highlanders win the line out. They get an advantage. Fekitoa almost gets through but is caught. The Highlanders play on. 

45.00: The Highlanders go through the phases in the Hurricanes 22. Dixon goes for the corner and offloads to Naholo who scores. TRY! Sopoag sucked in two defenders to make that. 

47.00: Sopoaga’s conversion hits the outside of the post and bounces out. 

51.00: Joe Wheeler comes on for the Highlanders. Ben Franks comes off for the Hurricanes. 

54.00: Penalty to the Hurricanes. Barrett takes the kick and nails it. 

55.00: The Hurricanes go on the attack but lose the ball. The Highlanders turn the ball over and they run it. The Highlanders get a penalty advantage. After a couple of phases they are called back for the penalty. 

57.00: Lima Sopoaga takes the penalty kick but misses. 

60.00 : 20 minutes left. Can the Hurricanes come from behind or can the Highlanders hold on. The players are starting to feel the pressure. The Highlanders have a line out in their 22. The Hurricanes steal it. 

61.00: The Hurricanes go through several phases on attack, they go wide for Julian Savea but he loses the ball 2m out with an open try line ahead! Time will tell if he dropped the ball or the title. 

62.00: Sopoaga clears the ball into touch to relieve some pressure. The Hurricanes win the line out and attack from the half way line. 

64.00: Sopaga goes down. It looks to be just cramp. He carries on. 

65.00: Sopoaga’s kick is charged down by Perenara. In the scramble to get the ball back the Highlanders concede a penalty. 

66.00: Barrett takes the penalty kick and slots it cutting the deficit to four points. 

68.00: The Highlanders kick upfield and Marshall chases but the ball goes into touch behind the dead ball line. 

69.00: The Hurricanes win the scrum and run at the Highlanders. Perenara breaks and makes about 20m. Momentum is shifting to the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes press forward but then lose the ball. Aaron Smith clears. The Hurricanes run at the HIghlanders. Sopoaga limps off and on comes Marty Banks. 

70.00: The Hurricanes win a line out in the Highlanders 22 but then lose the ball and the Highlanders win a penalty. 

71.00: Banks kicks for touch and the line out. 

72.00: The Highlanders win the lineout. Its messy but they get the ball upfield with a kick and the Hurricanes knock on. 

73.00: The Highlanders win the scrum, A.Smith chips the ball to the corner, Barrett gets back and somehow stays out of touch and gets the ball away. Conrad Smith kicks upfield. The Highlanders start their counter-attack. 

75.00: The Highlanders keep possession of the ball. They get into the Hurricanes 22. The Hurricanes put in a few try saving tackles but the Highlanders keep going. Banks breaks through and offloads to Geldenhuys but he is tackled JUST short and he loses the ball. Julian Savea was the tackler. 

77.00: The Highlanders set up the drop goal and Banks goes for it – he nails it !!

78.00: The Highlanders have a scrum in their half. 

79.00: The Highlanders win the scrum. They keep the ball tight in the pack. Can they hold on???

80.00: The siren sounds. Smith kicks it into touch and the HIGHLANDERS HAVE WON THE SUPER RUGBY TITLE!!! 

The full time score is Hurricanes 14 (5) Highlanders 21 (13)


Tries – M.Nonu. 
Pen – B.Barrett 3
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – E.Dixon, W.Naholo
Pen – L.Sopoaga 2
Con – L.Sopoaga 
Drop – M.Banks 
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2:Craig Joubert
TMO : Ben Skeen



1.Reggie Goodes , 2.Dane Coles , 3.Ben Franks , 4.Jeremy Thrush , 5.James Broadhurst , 6.Brad Shields , 7. Callum Gibbins , 8.Victor Vito , 9.TJ Perenara , 10.Beauden Barrett , 11.Julian Savea , 12.Ma’a Nonu , 13.Conrad Smith (c) , 14.Nehe Milner-Skudder , 15.James Marshall

Replacements: 16.Motu Matu’u , 17.Chris Eves , 18.Jeffery Toomaga-Allen , 19. Mark Abbott , 20.Blade Thomson , 21.Chris Smylie , 22.Rey Lee-Lo , 23.Matt Proctor


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

Replacements: 16. Ash Dixon , 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 18. Ross Geldenhuys , 19. Joe Wheeler , 20. Gareth Evans , 21. Shane Christie , 22. Fumiaki Tanaka , 23. Marty Banks

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