Highlanders

Naholo try caps off decisive Highlanders win

The Highlanders leapfrogged the Chiefs into third in the New Zealand conference and up to 40 points on the table, five behind the second-placed Hurricanes and 10 adrift of the competition-leading Crusaders.

It was the second successive loss for the Hurricanes, who were humiliated by the Crusaders in atrocious conditions last week in Christchurch, after they had won their previous 10 games.

Landers fed to Sharks in Durban

The hosts scored five tries to two in a dominant performance, notching the biggest win in their rivalry and the second-largest over any New Zealand side.

Fullback Curwin Bosch and second five-eighth Andre Esterhuizen led a compelling display on attack for the Sharks, who also strangled the Highlanders at the breakdown.

The home side held sway at scrum time, exacerbated by a Kings Park turf which broke up badly.

Their fourth win from 10 was comfortably their best and lifts the Sharks just inside the top eight with six games to play.

Highlanders snatch win from Bulls

His long range penalty crept over for a dramatic last gasp win in a game where the Highlanders were nine points ahead going into the last 20 minutes but had to come from behind in the closing stages to snatch victory.

Sopoaga did not miss with any of his kicks as he contributed 19 points.

"It could have gone either way in an awesome match, it's a tough place to play. We knew it would come down to the wire and we were lucky to take those key moments," said Highlanders captain Ben Smith.

Highlanders hand Blues another loss

The Highlanders raced out to a 12-nil lead in the opening minutes of the game but the home side pulled the deficit back to 12-11 before the Highlanders edged out to a 20-11 halftime lead.

The second half though was dominated by the Highlanders running in six tries in all with loose forward Shannon Frizell scoring a hatrick.

The Blues have not beaten a fellow New Zealand side since they recorded a 33-31 victory over the Highlanders in the first week of the competition in 2016, a streak of 15 matches - 14 of them losses.

 

     

Wainui try secures tight Chiefs win over Highlanders

Wainui gave his side the lead for good after a topsy-turvy encounter on the scoreboard even though the home side had dominated much of the possession and territory.

Fullback Solomon Alaimalo and hooker Nathan Harris had scored either side of half time to give the home side a 20-7 lead only for the visitors to come storming back with tries to Tevita Li and Sio Tomkinson and take a two-point lead with about 20 minutes remaining.

Perenara celebrates 100th with a derby win

Winger Ben Lam scored two of the Hurricanes' four tries on Saturday as they notched a third-straight win and handed the Highlanders their first defeat of the season.

The scores were locked 12-12 entering a final half-hour which the hosts dominated, scoring through a long-range penalty to Jordie Barrett and tries to reserve winger Vince Aso and Lam.

Both tries required expert, diving finishes in the corner from the wide men when tackled by the cover defence, as did Lam's first-half try.

Highlanders beat Blues 41-34

The Highlanders trailed 31-24 when Blues replacement flanker Antonio Kiri Kiri was yellow carded by Jamie Nutbrown for a high tackle and the home side seized on the opportunity to take a lead they did not relinquish.

Walden's centre partner Rob Thompson also grabbed two tries, while flyhalf Bryn Gatland, winger Matt Duffie and number eight Akira Ioane (two) replied for the visitors.

Neither team was perfect in their first competitive match of the season as they struggled with the new laws at the breakdown that does not allow defenders to attack the ball.

Waratahs pipped by Highlanders at tens

It might have only been the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens but the heartbreak was real as a last-gasp try from Highlanders winger Tevita Nabura sealed a 12-10 victory at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

The 'Tahs' looked on course to notch the first win by an Australian side over a Kiwi franchise in any format since the opening match of last year's inaugural tens event. An embarrassing 21-0 whitewash in Super Rugby followed.

Highlanders heading to Fiji

Led by new coach Aaron Mauger, the Dunedin-based side have agreed to stage a home game in Suva on June 30 against the Colin Cooper-coached Chiefs - who have played the Crusaders in Fiji in 2016 and 2017.

Club chief Roger Clark says it is a sound sporting decision.

"We are aware of the large following Super Rugby enjoys in Fiji and we're happy to have the chance to showcase our style of game in the islands," Clark said.

"Fiji has produced so many great players including our own Waisake Naholo - it will be great experience for him and all the players."

Eight new Highlanders in 2018

Makos forwards Shannon Frizell, Pari Pari Parkinson and Tyrel Lomax join McKay, while Counties prop Kalolo Tuiloma, Counties outside back Tevita Nabura and Wellington midfielder Thomas Umaga-Jensen are also new.

Otago first five-eighth Josh Ioane is the other new player, and will cover Lima Sopoaga and Fletcher Smith in the No 10 jersey. 

There is no space for former Highlanders co-captain Shane Christie, who didn't play at all last season due to an "illness".