Highlanders beat the Blues in Dunedin

The Highlanders open their Super Rugby campaign for 2014 against Northern rivals the Blues from Auckland at home in Dunedin.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick off. The teams are on the field.

The Highlanders kick off and we are underway.

0.23: There is a an early penalty for the Blues for not releasing so Chris Noakes kicks for touch.

2.00: The Highlanders concede another penalty after the line out so the Blues will have a shot at goal. Noakes takes the kick but misses.

3.00: The Blues get the ball down to the Highlanders 22 but they fail to protect the ball so the Highlanders steal it and kick downfield.

4.00: The Blues concede a penalty just outside their 22 so Lima Sopoaga will kick for posts.

5.00: Sopoaga takes the kick but it’s short.

7.00: Ben Smith gets some attacking ball in centre field but he knocks on. Early rustiness.

8.00: The Blues scrum collapses and has to be re-set. Still no score.

9.0: The Blues win the scrum and they pass out to Noakes who tries to kick upfield but Aaron Smith charges the kick down and regathers the ball and races for the line and scores. TRY! Great try.

10.00: Sopoaga adds the conversion and the Highlanders lead.

13.00: The Blues are on attack on the half way line and the ball pops out of a ruck, Malakai Fekitoa picks up the ball and races for the line – dodges two tacklers and scores. TRY!  Sensational stuff.

14.00: Sopoaga adds the conversion.

16.00: Penalty to the Highlander for joining the ruck incorrectly. It’s in front of the posts but just inside the Blues half. Sopoaga will kick for posts.

17.00: Sopoaga takes the kick and nails it.

20.00: The Blues win a penalty but it’s a long way out. Noakes takes the penalty shot but misses.

22.00; Josh Bekhuis comes on for Brad Thorn.

24.00: The Blues get some attacking ball just inside their half and they choose to run it and slice through the Highlanders defence. They get all the way to the 5m line and it slows.

25.00: Penalty to the Blues on the Highlanders 5m line. They kick for the corner and the line out.

26.00: The Blues take the line out but it’s an overthrow and the Highlanders snag the ball and kick upfield. The Blues get the ball back but they have to attack again from deep. However Piri Weepu knocks on.

27.00: We learn that Brad Thorn has a rib injury and is not expected back for the Highlanders. The Highlanders have a scrum just inside their half for Weepu’s knock on. It takes some time though for the scrum to complete due to binding problems.

29.00: The Highlanders win the scrum and Aaron Smith kicks well updfield. The Blues kick it back so Ben Smith has a run and makes about 20m. He is caught and the ball is turned over. The Blues attack but then the ball is again turned over and Aaron Smith kicks for the corner and sets up a 5m line out.

31.00: The Blues win the line out but Weepu’s clearance kick is sliced so the Highlanders have a line out on the Blues 22. The Blues win the line out but its messy so they kick but don’t make a lot of ground and give the ball back to the Highlanders who start working the ball forward through the phases.

33.00: The Blues manage to turn the ball over and kick it upfield. The Highlanders then over throw the line out and the Blues get some attacking ball on the half way line.

34.00: The Blues win a penalty in centre field but near the half way line. They kick for the corner but only reach the 25m line. 

35.00: After the line out the Highlanders get the ball and Aaron Smith slices through the Blues, he gets the ball away but the Blues scramble in defence and just manage to stop the break. The Blues escape.

37.00: It’s all the Highlanders. They have the ball in the Blues 22. Phase after phase on attack but as they get over the 5m line they go off thei

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