Highlanders vs Reds: Super Rugby live scores, blog

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    Highlanders vs Reds

    Super Rugby, 14 July, 2017

    Forsyth Barr Stadium
    Fulltime - Highlanders 40, Reds 17
    Highlanders   Reds
    40 FINAL SCORE 17
    6 TRIES 3
    0 DROP GOALS 0
    Referee: Michael Fraser
    Touch judges: Jamie Nutbrown & James Doleman
    TMO: Aaron Paterson

    It’s the final round of Super Rugby for 2017, and the Queensland Reds will look to their youth in a challenge of the highest order against a fired up Highlanders outfit in an icy-cold Dunedin. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 5:35pm AEST.

    It seems a mere formality on paper, and – if you looked at the betting odds – it’s no surprise that the Dunedin-based Highlanders are extremely short favourites to win this match.

    We saw last week some of the intensity and desperation that had been so lacking from the Reds season in their last gasp win over the finals bound Brumbies. Their young guns were immense that night, in particular Duncan Paia’aua and Izaiah Perese.

    Clearly this has rubbed off on Nick Stiles, and the squad he has flown to Dunedin contains no fewer than ten players 21 years or younger.

    When you look at the Reds side on paper, it’s a wonder they haven’t had more success this season. The likes of Quade Cooper, Karmichael Hunt, George Smith, Stephen Moore and Kane Douglas are all very good footballers in their own right; this combined with an exciting blend of youth and talent in the form of players like Campbell Magnay, Izaiah Perese, Hamish Stewart, Taniela Tupou and Reece Hewat – and you can see why rugby fans in the North are more than a little frustrated with their sides lack of success.

    Still, there is plenty to play for. For the young members of the squad still finding their feet at Super Rugby level, there is almost no greater challenge than tackling the star-studded Highlanders in Dunedin. For the veterans? It’s a matter of finishing what has been a disappointing season on a positive note.

    So… The Highlanders.

    They sit seventh overall on the ladder with ten wins, but that is merely a reflection of the strength of the New Zealand sides, who happen to take up four of the top six spots.

    Even though they are resting stars Aaron and Ben Smith for this fixture, the Highlanders’ outfit still oozes experience and talent.

    Reds winger Isaiah Perese will have a tough task containing Waisake Naholo who will still be stinging at his omission from the recent All Blacks tour against the Lions, whilst Tevita Li, Richard Buckman and Lima Sopoaga form half of an extremely enigmatic backline.

    Where the game will be won
    I actually don’t think the Reds’ backline is too bad. If Tuttle’s delivery is sharp from the base of the ruck, and Cooper has a good game, then he has enough in his arsenal of outside backs to score some points.

    Admittedly, Campbell Magnay is mismatched against Malakai Fekitoa, however he was one of the Reds best last week, and will be wanting to finish his Reds career in style before he departs overseas to Japan.

    This game will be won for the Highlanders in the forwards. The Reds front row has been average at best at set piece time, and Stephen Moore looks lethargic and ready for the season to be finished.

    In addition, the pace of the Highlanders back row of Squire, Jantjes and Liam Whitelock could cause serious problems for the significantly slower group of Timu, Smith and Korczyk in and around the fringes.

    It will be close at half time, but expect the Highlanders’ superior class and fitness to wear down a Reds side that will be desperate for a break after a long season. A comfortable win should be a good tune up for a finals-bound Highlanders outfit.

    Highlanders by 28

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    The Crowd Says (202)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • 10:23am
      Stu B said | 10:23am | ! Report

      Lucky for the Reds Quade is only a powder puff or he may have done some damage with head highs and no arms tackles the guy is never going to cut the mustard,now entering rugby’s old age this player has not improved his game since entering super rugby.I know I know reds supporters will throw the old crap about being a Quade hater but actually I’m just a rugby tragic and I can’t believe a player with only half a game can be the pivot for a team with ambition.Really embarrassing last night.

      • 12:21pm
        EnoughisEnough said | 12:21pm | ! Report

        Nah, Stu. Blokes like you are a dime a dozen on here. Pity is about the only emotion types like you elicit….

    • 8:28am
      Taurangaboy said | 8:28am | ! Report

      I know diehards from both codes will howl in anger … but isn’t it time for Union and League to amalgamate? I mean they only split so the lower classes could make money playing footy, and to play on Sundays. That all changed years ago. The games are very similar. Aussies are struggling to get a few good rugby sides together. The time is ripe for a media mogul to create a “New Footy” comp together combining the best of both games.

    • 5:03am
      Gewurtz said | 5:03am | ! Report

      Sorry, but that was men against boys.

    • 10:19pm
      Gepetto said | 10:19pm | ! Report

      A few amateurs made mistakes… Perese drops a straightforward pass; Hunt makes a disastrous tackle attempt; Magnay doesn’t know where to go in defence; Korczyk forgets to detach from the scrum and the game is lost. The Reds could have taken a few penalty kicks in the first half to slow the pace of play and they might have been in it. The serious professionals in the team are let down by a few. They should have kept Shatz and ditched Korczyk. It will be worse without Simmons next year. Stiles is a disaster – The Reds deserve a coach with a winning record that the talented players want to play for.

      • 5:11am
        riddler said | 5:11am | ! Report

        stiles is not the answer.

    • 9:22pm
      Bfc said | 9:22pm | ! Report

      OK…was out watching a club football/soccer game, so missed the rugby…
      But what gives…the blog says Cooper had a kick ‘charged down’ leading to a Highlanders try…yet others say Hamish Stewart was the kicker, and “Cooper knocks on” when other watchers say Rodda lost the ball…
      Is it so hard to get the players correct…especially if one is going to point out their “errors”…
      Going to be tough RC for the Wallas…appears that the basic skill levels and speed of play of the Oz players is way below that of the Kiwi players (and the Saffas for that matter…).

      • 9:57pm
        Train Without A Station said | 9:57pm | ! Report

        I think it tends to be only one player attributed with the errors of others.

        • 5:29am
          riddler said | 5:29am | ! Report

          jeez twas you are a pain in the place it doesn’t shine..

          you do exaggerate..

          and are very selective in the wording of comments in relation to two players in particular..

          first half you said cooper made the right call with the kick but executed badly..

          wrong and wrong.. he made the wrong call, he did have people inside, he should have taken into contact or passed like he usually does.. he chose a low percentage play..

          on top of that he did a horrible kick that if it had of been from the guy down south you would have just said horrible kick..

          and now after just reading throigh the 2nd half blog, as i missed watching it.

          you have then defended cooper for going high and made a snarky comment against a fellow blogger who is no better than you, nor me nor anyone.. everyone’s number twos stink.. you are not the be all and end all by any stretch mate so get off your high horse..

          cooper went high full stop.. he snotted the guy in the nose.. (ps he also went in with arms folded and elbows in front for the try that was disallowed by the tmo, but that is another issue)

          you then said he had to in your snarky righteous is me comment.. which is true, he did have to go higher than the first tackle, but not high.. 99% of players manage to do that okay, except of course cooper..

          but a point you conveniently missed it, is that cooper always goes high, even when he is first in, so where does that leave the second tackler in that case?

          which is a point, not to blow my own very small flute but i will, is what i have been making for years and none of the cooper fans says zip.. except for today when you try to use it to defend the guy.. even though he made a mess of the tackle.. yet again..

          and as for another guy who has just come in lately, as a rookie, ps how does that work when quality lads like rt, highlander etc have been making quality fair comments for ages yet this fella comes in defending alternate facts, like kellyanne conway.. saying cooper made more than 25m on his kicks..

          please find me them.. minute and second..

          in the first half his clearance kicks, when actually going out, were lucky to get a net 20m.. ie distance on touch line, not distance the ball travelled.. the others he did enabled the highlanders to do quick throws..

          anyhoos twas..

          i have had a boozy lunch and few beers beside the pool and a couple of bottles of plonk at the bbq , it is now 9.30pm..

          so if my words have not made sense to your pointy nose.. you know where you can go stick it..

          have a great one..

          • 8:11am
            Train Without A Station said | 8:11am | ! Report

            Typical rubbish from you grinding your axe.

            “Cooper always goes high”.

            No he doesn’t. He want low on Li about 5 or 10 minutes earlier actually. Attempted to execute a perfect tackle around the thighs.

            Got bumped hard though so attempting to execute was as far as it goes.

            I find it hilarious you are so intent on defending criticisms of a player from a half of football you didn’t event watch…

            No I don’t. Because you just look for opportinities to criticise the guy.

            Keep grinding that axe.

            It’s always the biggest nobodies who tend to make the harshest criticism.

            • 9:18am
              Uncle Eric said | 9:18am | ! Report

              Cooper didn’t want to know about tackling Naholo early on though, basically stepped aside and allowed someone else to take over. If Cooper is anywhere near the Wallabies god help them.

              • 10:28am
                EnoughisEnough said | 10:28am | ! Report

                Yes, thats right. Cooper is so poor defensively, the Wallabies will be much better served by those defensive hard men Foley and Beale (throw in Folau for measure) won’t they? Don’t let your bias get in the way of your narrative will you.

    • 8:20pm
      Hello said | 8:20pm | ! Report

      It was difficult to watch the reds create so many opportunities and stuff nearly everyone of them

    • Roar Rookie

      TonyH said | 7:43pm | ! Report

      This season has been beyond embarrassing for Australian rugby supporters. It only remains for the Darkness and the Saffas (and probably Los Pumas as well) to wallop the Wobblies in the upcoming Rugby Championship to make it complete, and for the “sport they play in heaven” to descend into hell here!

      • 2:22pm
        Gepetto said | 2:22pm | ! Report

        A smarter coaching team could select a winning squad from the Australian players available; but we have a failing coach who shows no sign of producing results.

    • 7:30pm
      Mike said | 7:30pm | ! Report

      A training run for the HL’s no less. Sad to see 40 points against on the board week after week. The sole credit that can’t be taken from the Aussie sides is that they concede more tries from charge downs than anyone else. As for cooper and acknowledging his passing ability, is there any other attribute that would justify his inclusion in the Wallaby squad?

      • 7:34pm
        Vic rugby said | 7:34pm | ! Report

        The amount of money the aru has paid him hoping for a result.

      • Roar Pro

        Boosho said | 10:15pm | ! Report

        He can kick further than 25 metres.

        • 5:30am
          riddler said | 5:30am | ! Report

          show me where.. actual time of those kicks..

          • 10:30am
            EnoughisEnough said | 10:30am | ! Report

            Why would he waste his time Riddler, your mind is already made up isn’t it? Tell me what do you get out of your obsession to hate one player?

    • 7:30pm
      Mike said | 7:30pm | ! Report

      A training run for the HL’s no less. Sad to see 40 points against on the board week after week. The sole credit that can’t be taken from the Aussie sides is that they concede more tries from charge downs than anyone else. As for cooper and acknowledging his passing ability, is there any other attribute that would justify his inclusion in the Wallaby squad?

      • Roar Pro

        Boosho said | 10:20pm | ! Report

        – He can kick further than 25 metres.
        – The Wallabies have a better win ratio when he’s playing.
        – He can create tries for others around him

        • 9:20am
          Uncle Eric said | 9:20am | ! Report

          If only he could kick straight Boosho. To me he looks like yesterday’s man and will most likely be remembered for his go at McCaw.

    • Roar Guru

      Nick Kelland said | 7:28pm | ! Report



      Match Result: It was a sloppy performance from the Highlanders, but they were far too good for a Reds side that failed to capitalise on a number of significant chances. The Queensland side going down 40-17 in an icy cold Dunedin battle.

      The Queensland Reds have finished their 2017 season with another loss – This time to the Highlanders, going down 40-17 in an error-riddled performance at Forsythe-Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

      The zoo was in full voice as the New Zealand franchise flexed their muscles and out enthused the Reds in a see-sawing 80 minutes of rugby.

      The game couldn’t have started worse for the Reds, with the Highlanders scoring in the corner in the third minute through the human bus, Waisake Naholo – Who showed great strength to brush off Eto Nabuli.

      From there, the Reds actually enjoyed the Lions share of the possession and territory, however they lacked the finishing power to convert this pressure into points.

      As all Kiwi sides do, whenever they get the ball in hand in broken play or set piece, they tend to make easy metres, and their second and third tries came from length of the field snipes and a 5m scrum – Lentjes and Hammington both bagging five pointers before half time.

      In the 38th minute, the Reds finally got on the board through some nice pick and drive work close to the Highlanders line, Izaack Rodda muscling over to give the Queenslanders some momentum heading into the break.

      Like the first half, the second stanza started poorly for the Reds. A Cooper kick was charged down, and one phase later, Tevita Li dotted down in the corner to re-instate their advantage.

      The second half was a back and forth affair, underpinned by handling errors and mistakes from both sides. A controversial TMO decision denied Tevita Li a second, before the Reds finished with a wet sail, Mafi and Timu the benefactors of some expansive and impressive lead up work from the Reds.

      For the Queenslanders? Taniela Tupou had the best game of his short career, and he was as dangerous with ball in hand as he was solid at scrum time. Magnay and Paia’aua both had solid outings, whilst Hamish Stewart showed real promise off the bench.

      It was the usual suspects who stood up for the Highlanders, Sopoaga controlled the game perfectly, whilst, as predicted, their back row ran amuck – effective with ball in hand, and at the breakdown for the whole contest.

      So, it was by the books. A comfortable win for the Highlanders, but the Reds certainly showed enough to suggest there is life yet in a franchise that struggled under the weight of expectation and reputation this season.

      • 7:29pm
        Train Without A Station said | 7:29pm | ! Report

        It wasn’t Cooper’s kick that was charged down… it was Stewart…

      • 7:41pm
        EnoughisEnough said | 7:41pm | ! Report

        I thank you for the blog Nick. I was unable to watch the game. However i note that several times you blamed Cooper for things that others apparently watching the game said he didn’t do. ie kick charge down, knock on etc. What gives? Did he make the errors you attributed to him, or were you just another example of “fake news”?

        • 9:43pm
          taylorman said | 9:43pm | ! Report

          I think he was copying and pasting and forgot to change the name.?

          • 5:36am
            riddler said | 5:36am | ! Report

            several means more than three in my book.. (two is a couple, few is 3 or more.. several is usually when you are in the dark place in any sector)

            where it appears nick made the mistake twice.. (haven’t seen the errors so cant confirm)

            but i guess that hurts your narrative..

            many bloggers make mistakes..

            till you get on there and make the effort, be thankful that someone is at least trying..

    • Roar Guru

      Machooka said | 7:21pm | ! Report


      REDs showed the most fight… after the game had finished.

      Well done H’lander… not that it was in any doubt 😉

      Thanks Nick for your hard graft 🙂

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