Highlanders too strong for Force
Cape Town - The Highlanders on Saturday beat the Western Force 23-3 in
their Super Rugby clash in Perth.
The free-flowing Highlanders have been one of the most
entertaining sides this campaign but they had to show grit and steel to get
their ninth win of the season.
Perhaps weary after a two-game tour of South Africa and
struggling with the narrow, physical approach of the Force, the Highlanders
backline failed to click and opted to kick an uncharacteristic amount of ball,
which saw them lead only 6-3 at the break.
However, second half tries by John Hardie and Aaron Smith ensured
a comfortable win for the men from Dunedin.
The four log points cements the Highlanders' position at
fifth on the overall standings, while the Force are rooted at the bottom of the
In next weekend’s action, the Highlanders host the Chiefs in
Dunedin, while the Force entertain the Reds in Perth.
Penalty: Sias Ebersohn
Tries: John Hardie, Aaron Smith
Converisons: Lima Sopoaga, Marty Banks
Penalties: Sopoaga (2)
Drop goal: Sopoaga
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan
Substitutes: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Sam Wykes, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Brad Lacey
15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 John Hardie, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds
Subs: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Richard Buckman, 23 Marty Banks