Super Rugby - Wellington, 4 July 2015, 19:35 local, 07:35 GMT
Hurricanes (5) 14 - 21 (13) Highlanders (FT)

Match coverage:  Report | Reaction | Reaction | Verdict

Summary

Time Score  
 

Hi and welcome to our live coverage of the Super Rugby final between the Hurricanes and Highlanders in Wellington. Some news ahead of kick-off, flanker Ardie Savea has been ruled out with his place to be taken by Callum Gibbons. Westpac Stadium looks a picture though and we're just 35 minutes away from the opening whistle.

1

We're underway in Wellington as Highlanders fly-half Lima Sopoaga kicks deeep down into the Canes' 22. TJ Pererana immediately clears into touch and we've got a lineout 30 etres out. The Highlanders work through the phases but struggle to make any ground from the lineout. A frantic opening sequence sees a couple of turnovers before the Highlanders go wide. The play eventually comes to an end when Patrick Osborne is bundled into touch but ref Jaco Peyper comes back for a penalty! Wow. What a start!

4 0 - 3

Lima Sopoaga puts first points on the board for the Highlanders. They lead 3-0.

5

The Hurricanes secure their first lineout throw and look to rumble through the forwards around the Hurricanes' 10. Jaco Peyper comes back for a penalty and Beauden Barrett will line up a shot from around 45 metres out.

6

Beauden Barrett is unsuccessful with his shot at penalty

7

Beauden Barrett can't land the penalty much to the delight of what seems to be quite a few Highlanders fans at Westpac Stadium.

8

The Hurricanes just appear to be struggling for rhythm early on here; but Peyper has found another penalty and Barrett kicks long to set up a lineout for the hosts just outside the Highlanders' 22.

10

The Hurricanes hunt down the touchline before the ball is snaffled by half-back Aaron Smith. The Highlanders No.9 risks a flick pass back in field however and Sopoaga is forced to clean up inside his own goal. Five-metre scrum to the Canes.

12

Nehe Milner Skudder takes the first run off the scrum, getting to within a few metres of the line. The Hurricanes forwards then go to work fort a couple of phases but they fail to break the Highlanders' defence. Peyper then penalises the Highlanders and warns No..9 Aaron Smith for throwing the ball away.

14

Penalty Highlanders! Pepyer makes a huge call and penalises the Hurricanes on their own feed. Lima Sopoaga clears up field for the Highlanders while Conrad Smith must be lamenting his decision to opt for the scrum.

16

A frantic passage of play following a couple of turnovers produces the best portion of the game so far. Ma'a Nonu first put Julian Savea away before the Highlanders won a turnover and produced some brilliant offloads to keep the play going. The play eventually breaks down with Waisake Naholo bundled into touch back on Savea's wing.

18

No shortage of turnover ball in this one! Highlanders star Ben Smith cut a beautiful line to move within five metres of the Hurricanes' line before the hosts forced a mistake. Frantic stuff!

19 0 - 3

Highlanders No.10 Lima Sopoaga takes a shot at drop goal but it drifts wide. Not sure it was the right option either.

20

The Highlanders have certainly had the better of the opening 20 minutes but have just three points to show for it. Beauden Barrett seems to be quite indecisive tonight, perhaps his knee injury is still a worry.

22

Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith opts for the posts after Jaco Peyper finds yet another penalty against the Highlanders - they're starting to mount somewhat - with Barrett to line up the shot about 5 metres closer than his first attempt.

24

Beauden Barrett misses again! The Highlanders continue to lead 3-0.

26

Both sides have gone quick-tap happy! First Aaron Smith sprints forward and finds full-back Ben Smith in support, however the All Blacks star is isolated and the Canes force a turnover. The Canes then go quickly themselves before they too are penalised a couple of phases later. Lima Sopoaga will line up a shot from just inside the halfway line.

28 0 - 6

It's over! A great kick from Lima Sopoaga sails between the uprights to take the Highlanders out to a 6-0 lead.

29

A bad error from Aaron Smith immediately gives the Canes some tasty field position, the half-back kicking out on the full from the kick-off.

31

The Hurricanes enjoy their best attacking sequence of the match that starts deep inside their own territory. Full-back Tom Marshall decides to chance his arm with Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ma'a Nonu combining down the right touchline. A couple of phases later Conrad Smith breaks through only to be brought down just a few metres short. The promising play comes to no avail however as the Highlanders force an error with some robust breakdown work.

34

A brilliant run from TJ Perenara following a quick lineout again puts the Hurricanes on the attack before he's bundled into touch. The hosts steal the lineout however and immediately rumble through the forwards before settling for a five-metre scrum.

36 5 - 6

Try time Hurricanes! Ma'a Nonu rams his way over in the corner after a flat ball from TJ Perenara! A couple of quick phases from the scrum got the Highlanders going backwards before the switch back to the blindside caught the Highlanders out. Great play.

37

Beauden Barrett is unsuccessful from the touchline - he's now missed three shots at goal.

38

A great counter-ruck from Highlanders winger Patrick Osborne creates an opportunity for the visitors and they move down inside the Hurricanes before Richard Buckman is forced into touch. They visitors manage to steal the lineout however, giving themselves the final attacking opportunity of the half.

39 5 - 11

We're going up to the TMO for a try to Elliot Dixon! Try. Incredible decision. It was a brutal run from the Highlanders back-rower but he looked to have put the ball down on a Hurricanes' player's foot before losing control. The TMO didn't think so however and awarded the try.

40 5 - 13

Lima Sopoaga nails the conversion to add insult to injury for the Canes; the visitors go into the break 13-5 ahead.

40

Back underway in the second half in Wellington as James Marshall goes long and Highlanders No.9 Aaron Smith clears into touch.

41 8 - 13

Early penalty for the Hurricanes as Jaco Peyper finds a maul infringement from the Highlanders. Hurricanes No.10 Beauden Barrett steps up and, this time, raises the flags.

43

Great work from Waisake Naholo sees the Highlanders win a penalty just when the Hurricanes were starting to look dangerous. The winger secured a strong position at the breakdown and won a penalty for holding on.

46 8 - 18

Try time Highlanders! A wonderful build-up sees the visitors move the ball from side to side, and work through two separate advantages for Waisake Naholo to touch down in the corner. Elliot Dixon looked like he would get a second but the back-rower offloaded to Naholo, the winger forced to spin and swivel before touching down.

47

Lima Sopoaga can't land the conversion seeing the score remain 18-8 to the Highlanders.

49

Great play again from the Highlanders as Sopoaga drops a nice little kick across for Naholo, the winger then puts the ball onto the boot himself only to see it trickle in touch with Sopoaga in hot pursuit.

51

A great kick from Ma'a Nonu brings the Hurricanes down into Highlanders' territory, somewhere they've barely been in the second half. A lineout steal wouldn't go astray either.

53 11 - 18

Beauden Barrett bangs a penalty over for the Canes from distance after the Highlanders were pinged for a ruck infringement. It looked to be somewhat of a tough call on the visitors but no doubt the Canes fans were relieved to see Barrett split the posts again.

55

Penalty to the Highlanders this time as the Hurricanes are penalised for off-side. A player lying on the deck laid a hand on the Highlanders ball-carrier, prompting Peyper to blow his whistle.

56

Lima Sopoaga is unsuccessful for the first time tonight as he pulls the penalty attempt to the left of the posts. The gap remains at seven points.

58

A rare Ben Smith mistake has presented the Hurricanes with an excellent attacking opportunity. The Highlanders full-back just dropped the ball cold following a turnover, giving the Canes some valuable field position.

60

Bombed try! Julian Savea spills the ball over the line, seeing five points go begging for the Hurricanes. Some powerful runs from James Broadhurst and Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen got the hosts on the front foot but the final pass from Brad Shields was just a little bit behind Savea and the winger couldn't reel it in.

61

A great kick from Aaron Smith sees the Highlanders clear their line up towards halfway.

64

A promising attack from the Hurricanes again comes to an end with a loose pass. The hosts are starting to control proceedings but are lacking in execution once they get through the first few phases. Lima Sopoaga is meanwhile receiving attention but looks okay enough to continue.

65

The Hurricanes will have the chance to close the gap to just four points here. A great charge down from TJ Perenara forced the Highlanders to scramble, and they were penalised a few moments later.

66 14 - 18

Beauden Barrett slots the penalty and we've got a four-point ball game!

68

The Hurricanes are hard onto the attack here with TJ Perenara running a muck with some brilliant short-side darts. The Canes continue to be their own worst enemy with poor final passes however.

70

Lima Sopoaga has left the park, putting Marty Banks in the No.10 hot-seat for the final 10 minutes. The Canes look to be finishing the stronger, so Banks management of the Highlanders' ball will be crucial.

72

Hurricanes replacement Matt Proctor spills a high ball, giving the Highlanders a chance to attack for the first time in the last 20 minutes.

74

The Highlanders

75

The Highlanders go within a metre if scoring after Marty Banks dummied the drop goal and ran into a huge gap. The replacement No.10 then found support on the inside only for the player to be cut down in try-saving tackle by both Beauden Barrett and Julian Savea. That was the game right there.

76

It's still the Highlanders on the attack though.

77 14 - 21

Drop goal Highlanders! Marty Banks takes the Highlanders back out to a seven-point lead with a drop goal after twice dummying the move in the last few minutes. The replacement is doing a fine job after coming on for Lima Sopoaga.

78

Julian Savea knocks on attempting to take the re-start. Scrum Highlanders.

79

Highlanders are just trying to run the clock down through the forwards here. They're getting close.

80

They've done it! The Highlanders are champions! Aaron Smith boots the ball into touch to secure the win. It's been quite a remarkable season for the men from Dunedin.

Timeline

Time Hurricanes  Score  Highlanders
0 start of first half start of first half
4 0 - 3 Sopoaga - penalty goal
28 0 - 6 Sopoaga - penalty goal
36 Nonu - try 5 - 6
39 5 - 11 EC Dixon - try
40 end of first half 5 - 13 Sopoaga - conversion
end of first half
40 start of second half
Eves - sub on
Goodes - sub off
start of second half
Lentjes - sub off
Christie - sub on
41 Barrett - penalty goal 8 - 13
46 8 - 18 Naholo - try
51 Toomaga-Allen - sub on
Franks - sub off
Thomson - sub on
Gibbins - sub off
Wheeler - sub on
Reddish - sub off
53 Barrett - penalty goal 11 - 18
57 AL Dixon - sub on
Coltman - sub off
61 Hohneck - sub off
Geldenhuys - sub on
64 Lienert-Brown - sub on
Edmonds - sub off
66 Barrett - penalty goal 14 - 18
70 Milner-Skudder - sub off
Proctor - sub on
Banks - sub on
Sopoaga - sub off
71 Evans - sub on
EC Dixon - sub off
72 Eves - sub off
Franks - sub on
77 14 - 21 Banks - drop goal
80 end of second half
end of half
end of second half
end of half
0
80

Notes

 
Result Highlanders won by a margin of 7 points
 
Ground name Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Teams

Hurricanes Highlanders
Tries Nonu (36) Tries EC Dixon (39), Naholo (46)
Cons none Cons Sopoaga (40)
Pens Barrett (41, 53, 66) Pens Sopoaga (4, 28)
Drops none Drops Banks (77)

Match stats

Hurricanes   Highlanders
1 Tries 2
0 from 1 Conversion goals 1 from 2
3 from 5 Penalty goals 2 from 3
50.0% Kick at goal success 67.0%
0 Dropped goals 1 (1 missed)
Kick/pass/run
17 Kicks from hand 31
165 Passes 145
152 Runs 129
711 Metres run with ball 438
Attacking
57% (68%/44%) Possession (1H/2H) 43% (32%/56%)
54% (67%/38%) Territory (1H/2H) 46% (33%/62%)
15 Clean breaks 12
34 Defenders beaten 23
19 Offloads 23
100 from 105 (95.2%) Rucks won 79 from 83 (95.2%)
3 from 3 (100.0%) Mauls won 2 from 2 (100.0%)
21 Turnovers conceded 15
Defensive
121/23 Tackles made/missed 156/34
84.0% Tackling success rate 82.0%
Set pieces
5 won, 1 lost (83.3%) Scrums on own feed 5 won, 0 lost (100.0%)
12 won, 2 lost (85.7%) Lineouts on own throw 7 won, 2 lost (77.8%)
Discipline
7 (0) Penalties conceded (Freekicks) 9 (1)
0/0 Yellow/red cards 0/0

Hurri stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Marshall 0/0 0 3/14/10 58 2 2 0 3 2/2 0/0 1 0/0
W Milner-Skudder 0/0 0 1/4/10 71 1 1 1 3 4/3 1/0 0 0/0
C Smith 0/0 0 1/4/9 45 1 4 1 0 4/1 0/0 0 0/0
C Nonu 1/0 5 2/6/10 80 3 5 0 0 8/2 0/0 0 0/0
W Savea 0/0 0 0/3/10 101 2 4 2 5 5/1 0/0 0 0/0
FH Barrett 0/0 9 5/25/12 29 0 6 3 0 5/2 1/0 1 0/0
SH Perenara 0/1 0 4/80/11 104 3 5 4 2 10/0 1/0 0 0/0
P Goodes 0/0 0 0/2/5 7 0 0 0 1 1/1 0/0 1 0/0
H Coles 0/0 0 1/1/12 27 1 0 1 1 5/2 0/0 0 0/0
P Franks 0/0 0 0/3/5 11 0 1 0 0 10/0 0/0 2 0/0
L Thrush 0/0 0 0/2/3 0 0 0 0 1 15/1 2/0 0 0/0
L Broadhurst 0/0 0 0/7/13 51 1 1 4 1 14/1 1/0 0 0/0
F Shields 0/0 0 0/6/17 45 0 0 2 2 11/3 0/0 0 0/0
F Gibbins 0/0 0 0/2/4 3 0 0 0 0 6/0 0/0 0 0/0
N8 Vito 0/0 0 0/4/14 40 0 1 0 1 7/0 5/1 1 0/0
(R) Eves 0/0 0 0/0/1 0 0 0 0 0 2/2 0/0 0 0/0
(R) Toomaga-Allen 0/0 0 0/1/3 14 0 4 0 0 4/1 0/0 1 0/0
(R) Thomson 0/0 0 0/1/3 25 1 0 1 0 8/1 0/0 0 0/0
(R) Proctor 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

Hland stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB BR Smith 0/0 0 6/7/12 95 2 2 2 2 4/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Naholo 1/0 5 1/3/10 31 1 2 0 1 4/1 0/0 1 0/0
C Fekitoa 0/0 0 0/8/7 28 0 1 4 1 4/5 0/0 0 0/0
C Buckman 0/0 0 0/6/9 46 3 3 2 2 12/1 0/0 0 0/0
W Osborne 0/0 0 1/5/11 43 0 0 4 1 3/3 0/0 0 0/0
FH Sopoaga 0/0 8 10/15/10 34 0 2 3 1 6/3 0/0 1 0/0
SH AL Smith 0/1 0 13/78/9 28 2 3 2 3 10/2 0/0 0 0/0
P Edmonds 0/0 0 0/3/3 9 0 1 0 0 10/3 0/0 0 0/0
H Coltman 0/0 0 0/1/4 8 1 0 0 0 14/1 0/0 1 0/0
P Hohneck 0/0 0 0/3/7 13 0 0 0 0 11/3 0/0 0 0/0
L Ainley 0/0 0 0/2/8 10 0 0 2 0 11/0 1/0 2 0/0
L Reddish 0/0 0 0/0/1 2 0 0 0 1 11/0 3/1 2 0/0
F EC Dixon 1/1 5 0/2/6 38 1 2 1 0 16/0 0/1 0 0/0
F Lentjes 0/0 0 0/1/2 1 0 0 0 0 4/3 0/0 0 0/0
N8 Manu 0/0 0 0/5/8 15 0 1 0 1 13/4 0/0 1 0/0
(R) AL Dixon 0/0 0 0/0/2 2 0 0 0 0 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
(R) Lienert-Brown 0/0 0 0/1/0 0 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
(R) Geldenhuys 0/0 0 0/0/2 8 1 0 0 1 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
(R) Wheeler 0/0 0 0/1/6 3 0 0 0 1 4/1 2/0 1 0/0
(R) Evans 0/0 0 0/0/3 1 0 0 0 0 0/1 1/0 0 0/0
(R) Christie 0/0 0 0/2/6 11 0 1 2 0 7/2 0/0 0 0/0
(R) Banks 0/0 3 0/2/3 12 1 5 1 0 0/1 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

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