Highlanders v Force Live

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Friday 1st April 06:35 GMT


The Highlanders and the Force get Round 6 of the 2016 Super Rugby Tournament under way, when they clash at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Friday Evening. The defending Champions, the Highlanders, started the defence of their title with a narrow defeat against the Blues, but have since embarked on a four match winning streak. Following the loss in Auckland, the Highlanders won successive fixtures in Dunedin against the Hurricanes and the Lions, before travelling across the Tasman, where they secured wins against the Waratahs and the Rebels.

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The Force, who have managed just a solitary win from five attempts this season, against the Reds in Round 2, are coming to the end of a hard and unproductive tour of New Zealand. A 6-try thumping in Palmerston North by last season's beaten finalists the Hurricanes, was followed by an even more emphatic beating last weekend, when the Chiefs ran in 9-tries on their way to a 53-10 victory. The two teams have met each other nine times previously in Super Rugby, with the Force winning six of those matches. The 2015 contest in Perth, went the way of the Highlanders by 23-3, and ended a sequence of six wins in the series for the Australian outfit.

Posted: 15th March 2014


Brad Thorn, the 39 year old former All Black, is hopeful of making a Super Rugby comeback this Saturday, for the Highlanders against the Western Force. Thorn had damaged some cartilage when tackling Liaki Moli mid way through the first half of the Highlanders 29-21 victory against the Blues, in their first game of the 2014 season. The Highlanders' management has rated him a 70-30 chance of playing, after the early medical prognosis was that he would be out for at least a month. Thorn will have another scan on the injured knee, before a final decision is made, as to whether the veteran is fit enough to play a part in Saturday's contest. While Thorn has a chance of being fit, there is little chance that the winger, Patrick Osborne will make the XV. He is still struggling with an ankle injury, and is 50-50 at best to face the Force. Highlanders had a bye last week, while the Western Force thumped Rebels by 32-7 in Perth. Having played three pre-season games ahead of their two Super Rugby contests, the Kiwi side will probably have benefited from a week off, after their early season exertions.

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The Highlanders have lost their last two clashes with the Force, so will be well aware of the challenge that the Australian franchise can pose, and the coaching staff will use the motivation of those results to guard against any complacency amongst the home team.

Tags: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Highlanders, Force, Super Rugby, Liaki Moli, Patrick Osborne, Western Force
Posted: 1st April 2016

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