Outright Rugby

Highlanders v.s Chiefs Super Rugby preview

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A crucial battle between two New Zealand heavyweights. The Highlanders and Chiefs kick off Super Rugby action this Friday.

Venu: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.

Kickoff Friday 22 Feb:

Local – 19:35

AUS – 17:35 (Sydney)

RSA – 08:35

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia).

Weather: Clear skies with cool, dry conditions and a very gentle breeze.


Sides: Chiefs: Run-on: 15. Gareth Anscombe, 14. Patrick Osborne, 13. Tim Nanai-Williams, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10. Aaron Cruden,  9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow,  8. Fritz Lee  7. Sam Cane, 6. Liam Messam, 5. Brodie Retallick, 4. Craig Clarke (c), 3. Ben Afeaki,  2. Hika Elliot, 1. Pauliasi Manu. Bench: 16. Rhys Marshall, 17. Ben Tameifuna, 18. Michael Fitzgerald, 19. Tanerau Latimer, 20. Augustine Pulu, 21. Charlie Ngatai, 22. Lelia Masag. Injured: Andrew Horrell, Brendon Leonard, Richard Kahui and Robbie Robinson.


Highlanders: Run-on: 15. Ben Smith, 14. Kade Poki, 13. Phil Burleigh, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 11. Hosea Gear (c), 10. Lima Sopoaga, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Nasi Manu, 7. John Hardie, 6. Joe Wheeler, 5. Josh Bekhuis, 4. Jarrad Hoeata (vc), 3. Ma’afu Fia,  2. Brayden Mitchell, 1. Tony Woodcock. Bench:

16. Liam Coltman , 17. Bronson Murray , 18. Elliot Dixon , 19. Tim Boys , 20. Fumiaki Tanaka , 21. Hayden Parker , 22. Buxton Popoalii. Injured: Brad Thorn.


Previous results:  

Highlanders: Away 14 – 36 Chiefs

Home 38 – 21 Crusaders

Neutral 29 – 31 Blues (most recent fixture)

Chiefs: Home 36 – 14 Highlanders

Away 20 – 8 Reds

Home 25 – 21 Hurricanes (most recent fixture)


Betting: Outright: 5/6 v.s 6/5

Handicap: -1 v.s +1


Preseason fixtures usually have a major influence on early round results. The Highlanders have won 1 of 3 whilst the Chiefs have won 3 of 3. Do not forget that Steve Walsh is blowing the whistle – we find that home sides tend to fair well under his tutelage. The fact that the Chiefs have been ravaged by injuries to star players further complicates matters.

Prediction: Had there been no injuries we would have gone Chiefs but we now feel that its a coin-toss between these two sides as to who will take the honours in this New Zealand derby.


  • Steve

    Sitting on the fence? I backed highlanders by 3 on superbru. We will have to wait and see.

    • http://twitter.com/outrightrugby Outright Rugby

      Hi Steve you legend. We love to make calls but some games are just too close. Its going to be a cracker with every win in this competition being crucial!

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.b.robarts Andrew Bunty Robarts

    Chiefs forwards are going to dominate. Highlanders are going to get killed at the breakdown by Cane and Messam and they no longer have Adam Thompson to rely on. Aaron Smith is going to have to continue his form from last season and get that Highlanders backline firing. Gonna be a ripper!!

  • http://twitter.com/steyn_05 Riaan Steyn

    tipped it for the Highlanders to win it by 9. another one that was not easy to pick

  • Willem

    Wow what a game!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/outrightrugby Outright Rugby

    Game of the tournament so far!