Waratahs v Highlanders Live

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Waratahs                          Highlanders
Friday 18th March 08:45 GMT

 

The Waratahs return to action in Super Rugby 2016 on Friday, after a week off, when they entertain the Highlanders fro across the Tasman at the Allianz Stadium on Sydney. This will be a first non-Australian derby fixture of the season for the Waratahs, who began the new season with an easy win against their old rivals the Reds, winning by 30-10, before travelling to Canberra and going down to the impressive Brumbies by 15-32. The last time that these two sides met, was in the 2015 semi-final on the same ground as Friday's meeting, when they Highlanders scored a sensational 35-17 victory, outscoring the home side 5-1 tries.

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Prior to that semi-final defeat, the Waratahs had enjoyed a run of seven successive home wins against opponents from across the Tasman. The Highlanders having lost a thriller to the Blues in their first game by 31-33, but have followed up with two successes in defence of their title, so surprisingly clinched last season. Creeping home in Round 2 against the Hurricanes in Dunedin by 17-16, before slightly more emphatic performance last weekend, when they beat the Lions 34-15 also on home soil. Prior to last season, the Highlanders had a dreadful record on Australian soil, with losses in 14 of the previous 15 games that they had played in the country. In 2015, as well as their semi-final success, they also claimed victory in Perth against the Force. The regular season meeting between these sides in 2015, took place in Dunedin, with the Highlanders winning 26-19.

Posted: 27th June 2015

 

The second Super Rugby semi-final. Like the first, is also an Australia v New Zealand clash. The reigning Champions, the Waratahs hosting the Highlanders in Sydney. Eleven wins and five defeats saw the Tahs take the Australian Conference title, in a neck and neck race with the Brumbies. Saturday’s opponents, the Highlanders, had an identical regular season record, although they picked up one more bonus point than the Waratahs. With the Hurricanes running away with top spot on the overall table, the Highlanders had to come through a play-off last weekend, to take their place in the last four. They successfully negotiated a New Zealand derby against the Chiefs, winning by 24-14 against the Champions from 2012 and 2013, to set up their trip to Sydney. The Waratahs have lost just two games on home soil in 2015, a shock defeat in Round 1 against the Force, and then against the Stormers in Round 9.

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Although the Highlanders won when the sides played earlier in the season by 26-19, that match took place in Dunedin. Their record in Sydney is not great, with just two wins from nine matches in the City. Both of which were by a single point, and the last of which was back in 2007.

Posted: 6th July 2014

 

The must win matches come thick and fast at this time of the Super Rugby season and with just two rounds of fixtures left in the regular season 2014 is no different. On Sunday at Allianz Stadium, the current table topping Waratahs play host to the Highlanders, who themselves are in fourth position in the overall table, trailing the Crusaders who lead the New Zealand Conference on points difference only. Although the Crusaders do have a significant advantage in that respect. The Australian outfit has won 10 of their 14 games this season, including a perfect record of 7 from 7 in Sydney. The Highlanders have eight wins to their credit, two of which have come on the road to set alongside four defeats away from home. Waratahs are already assured of a top three position, whatever the outcome of their last two regular season matches. But they will be anxious to collect the points that will keep them ahead of the Sharks at the head of the table, as they seek to secure home advantage through the play-offs.    

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The home side has just one change to the side that thumped the Brumbies in Sydney last weekend. Stephen Hoiles, the former Brumbies skipper replaces Waratahs captain Dave Dennis, who was injured in last week's victory.


Tags: Super Rugby, Allianz Stadium, Waratahs, Highlanders, Stephen Hoiles
Posted: 18th March 2016


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