Highlanders use early onslaught to demolish Blues

They were playing in a Super Rugby match in Dunedin on Saturday.

Fullback Ben Smith crossed twice on his 27th birthday, and there were also tries for centre Tamati Ellison and winger Hosea Gear as the home side grabbed the bonus point before going in at halftime 29-7 ahead.

Two wins in 13 matches mean the Highlanders will not be in the playoffs this year, but the Blues still have slender hopes of making the post-season and the defeat was a major blow to those chances.

A stirring second-half fightback saw the Blues close the gap to 35-21 with 15 minutes remaining but the Highlanders held firm and flanker Luke Braid's converted try after the hooter only secured a four-try bonus point.

The Highlanders were widely tipped to be contenders for the Super Rugby title this year and for the first 39 minutes they showed why as they simply blew away the Blues.

Smith started like a man on a mission and opened the scoring after 10 minutes, finishing off from close range after being heavily involved in the preceding attack.

Ellison ran through Rene Ranger to score 13 minutes later before Smith made the score 22-0 when he added his second on the half hour mark and there was still time for Hosea Gear to cut through the defence and add a try of his own before the break

Blues winger Waisake Naholo gave his side a glimmer of hope on the stroke of halftime with a superb chip and chase to score, and centre Ranger and flanker Steven Luatua also crossed in the losing cause after the break.

The Blues lost scrumhalf Piri Weepu with concussion early in the match, which might have ramifications for the All Blacks squad to be named on Sunday for their June test series against France.  – Reuters

Reuters Author
Guest Author
Advertisting

Hlophe complaint is an eerie echo

But the new complaint against the Western Cape judge president is also unprecedented

Mabuza contract grows by R10m

Eskom’s negotiators in a R100-million maintenance contract came back with a proposal to push up the costs

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide
Advertising

Press Releases

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.